Butch Lewis Act to Protect Pensions Clears Key Hurdle
Washington, June 11, 2019
Tags: Jobs and the Economy
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Education & Labor Committee passed legislation to ensure multi-employer pension plans remain solvent and continue providing retirees and workers the retirement benefits they have earned. Dingell is a lead cosponsor of the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, also known as the Butch Lewis Act.
Dingell has been fighting against proposed cuts to retiree pensions since the Central States Pension Fund threatened to cut retiree benefits by as much as 70 percent, impacting 273,000 current and future retirees, including an estimated 43,500 Michigan members. Some of the nation’s largest multiemployer pension plans, including the Central States Pension Fund, are on the verge of collapse because they don’t have enough money to pay promised pensions to retirees and workers. The Rehab Act would ensure that all promised benefits are paid by creating a new office within the U.S. Treasury Department called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA). The PRA would issue bonds backed by the U.S. Treasury to finance loans to distressed pension plans so they can remain solvent and continue providing retirement security for retirees and workers for decades to come.
Dingell has been fighting against proposed cuts to retiree pensions since coming to Congress. In 2018, she was appointed by then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Plans. Dingell led a bipartisan coalition of 89 House colleagues in sending a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department urging the rejection of the application by Central States. Since the application was rejected in May 2016, Dingell and her colleagues have been working with all stakeholders to find a solution that will shore up multiemployer pension plans without placing an undue burden on workers and retirees.