WASHINGTON, March 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Teamsters are elated over the Senate’s approval of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus measure containing a provision bolstering financially-troubled multiemployer pension plans that would ensure the retirements of more than 1 million American retirees and workers are protected.
The vote marks the furthest such wide-reaching pension legislation has progressed since Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa was elected head of the union in 1998. Because changes were made to the bill in the Senate, it must go back to the House for approval before heading to President Biden’s desk for his signature. That is expected next week.
“For more than two decades, Teamster members, retirees and officials have worked tirelessly to make sure the hard-earned retirements of its members are protected,” Hoffa said. “Now, as part of this bill, more than 50 Teamster pension plans – including its largest, the Central States Pension Fund – will be eligible for assistance at the outset of the bill’s enactment, with more of the union’s plans becoming eligible in 2022.”
Under the measure, money to assist eligible plans would come directly from the U.S. Treasury Department in the form of grants which would not need to be repaid. Plan participants would receive 100 percent of their earned pension benefits.
As America looks to reopen and rebuild, maintaining the solvency of the multiemployer pension system will be a key to economic recovery. The National Institute for Retirement Security has concluded that the $44.2 billion in private pension benefit payments paid to retirees of multiemployer plans in 2018 supported $96.6 billion dollars in overall economic output in the national economy, and an estimated $14.7 billion in total tax revenue. The country can ill-afford a reduction in these revenue streams during the recovery period.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
Galen Munroe, (202) 439-7427
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters