Many multiemployer pension funds, which provide retirement benefits to unionized workers employed at different companies, are covered by the reform law, but Central States is one of the first to apply to cut benefits under the law, according to the Pension Rights Center. The fund, which covers 400,000 people, of whom a little more than half are retired, is projected to run out of money in 10 years.
“I’ll lose everything,” said Pete Lomonaco, a retired Georgia truck driver and Teamster. “I’m 75 years old, and I’m going to lose my house.”
Lomonaco’s pension will be cut by 61 percent under Central State’s plan, he said. John Wilkinson, 58, said he’ll lose 43 percent. Del Viehland, a Missouri Teamster, said he knows retirees who could lose anywhere from 70 to 75 percent of their pensions. Ray Brofford, a 73-year-old retiree from Columbus, Ohio, said he’s going from getting $2,600 a month to $1289.
Here’s background. Outgoing Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is a bogeyman here, and with excellent reason.
This was actually one of a number of events this week. For example, on Monday, there was a sit-down, get-arrested event at the Capitol protesting gerrymandering, voter suppression, and buying elections. One group originally marched from Philadelphia to Washington. These are all exceptionally cool and righteous people.
Comment below fold,
From Mac Hall: If you care about pensions, then you gotta know who was at the rally protesting the cuts .. that would be Representatives Rick Nolan, Marcy Kaptur, Gwen Moore along with Senators Rob Portman, Sherrod Brown, Heidi Heitkamp, and Elizabeth Warren.
You should also know that John Kline was not there … he had a busy schedule last week, including being honored at a luncheon by the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association ( gosh, did anyone read that Darlene Miller, whom John Kline has endorsed, has been active on MPMA boards?)
Workers covered by multiple-employer pension plans are not alone in facing cuts … last month, the Tennessee Valley Authority Retirement System board approved a proposal to reduce the pension benefits for employees hired in the past 20 years.
OK … so that’s one group … the workers … but TVA executives receive a supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP) which is not subject to the same cuts as other TVA workers. BTW, TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson’s total compensation in 2015 was worth approximately $6.4 million, the highest of any federal employee in the country. Other executives at the TVA have similarly high salaries and pensions.