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Union Pension Woes

The New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund is expected to file an application today to reduce benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. According to the last 5500 filing in 2014, this plan was 46.5% funded. In a letter on February 5th to the plan’s 34,639 participants, fund trustees estimated that the plan will go insolvent within the next 19 years.

The Teamsters application to the Treasury Department follows two other applications submitted by the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers Locals 5 and 7.

Meanwhile, Congress is considering legislation that would use taxpayer dollars to bail out the “overpromised, underfunded pension plan of the United Mine Workers of America.” This article gives a great synopsis of why that’s a terrible idea. Here’s a quick quote:

“Such an unprecedented move would send the message that Congress will stand behind sending trillions of dollars in overpromised, underfunded public and private pension obligations across the country.”

There are a total of more than 1,300 multiemployer pension plans across the country, the majority of them won’t be able to keep the promises they’ve made. To bail out all private unions would cost $600 billion.

The Teamsters Central States fund is one of the most well-known on this front. Click here to learn more about how they got to where they are.

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