SENATE DEMOCRATS RELEASE NEW LETTER URGING LEADER MCCONNELL TO ACT ON PENSION CRISIS BEFORE SUMMER WORK PERIOD
New Letter From Senate Democrats Calls On Majority Leader Mitch McConnell To Move Bipartisan Miners Protection Act And Help Develop Bipartisan Solution For More Than 400,000 Workers & Retirees Who Face Severe Cuts To Their Pensions through
The letter underscores the urgent need to take immediate action to the multiemployer pension problem, calling on the
Additionally, of particular urgency is the
Furthermore, the Senators write that a significant number of multiemployer pension plans are also experiencing funding shortfalls and may run out of the resources to deliver earned benefits. Meanwhile the
The letter was signed by Senators
Full text of the letter can be found below:
Majority Leader McConnell
Dear Majority Leader McConnell:
As you know, there is an urgent need for the
Therefore, before we break for the long summer recess, we must move the bipartisan Miners Protection Act (S. 1714), which will protect both the health care and pension benefits for retired coal miners and their dependents with funding through the Abandoned
Coal Miners' Pension and Retiree Health Benefits
Seventy years ago this month, President
This is a crisis that needs immediate legislative action. On
Broader Multiemployer Pension Crisis
While the miners' situation presents the most imminent loss of benefits, we also must act this year to address the Central States issue, which is emblematic of the broader multiemployer pension crisis. The Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan is the largest of the underfunded plans and was the first to file an application under MPRA to cut the pensions of about 270,000 retirees.
Now that the
A number of multiemployer pensions are very likely to run out of money in the near future. At the same time, the PBGC, which insures pensioners' benefits, is in dire financial straits and by 2025, may no longer be able to pay even the small guarantee under the multiemployer program. In its 2015 Annual Report, the agency noted that it had just
Our multiemployer pension problem is unavoidable. We must act now to develop solutions to help pensioners in troubled multiemployer plans like the Central States plan. The plight of Central States pensioners shows us we need to use this opportunity to develop a bipartisan solution to address these problems. Legislation that only reforms the voting rules under MPRA will not solve this crisis; we need to find a real solution and we need to do it this year. We understand that there are no easy answers, but we owe it to the hardworking Americans, who played by the rules and worked a lifetime for a secure pension, to do our best and not to wait for another day.
We already have a bipartisan solution to help the coal miners who sacrificed so much to keep the country's lights on. We cannot sit idly by and watch the miners lose health benefits in a matter of months. Majority Leader McConnell, we must enact the Miners Protection Act as soon as possible. We also must begin to address the Central States issue now, this year to avert another tragedy. The PBGC is in danger of insolvency if
We stand ready and committed to work with you on a bipartisan basis.