The Teamsters are applauding the House’s passage of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill on Feb. 27 that includes language granting relief to hundreds of endangered multiemployer pension plans that would protect the hard-earned retirements of more than 1 million American retirees and workers.
Under the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 language inserted into the legislation, 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.
“For my entire administration, the Teamsters have been fighting for members and retirees who only want to receive the nest eggs that they’ve worked so hard to earn for their golden years,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “Now we are one step closer towards fulfilling that promise.”
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.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. Elected officials can no longer turn their backs on these hardworking Americans who have played by the rules their entire lives. Congress must pass COVID-19 legislation that includes a pension fix.