Operating Engineers 324 Statement regarding potential Federal pension legislation
Operating Engineers 324 is deeply troubled by reports coming from Washington DC regarding legislation around retirement provision and pension reform. The key issues pertain to large multi-employer plans that are in danger of failing, costing billions of dollars from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and draining its multi-employer fund. Unfortunately, despite strong support from people close to troubled Multi-employer Pension Plans favoring Federal Loan Programs like those laid out in the Butch Lewis Act, there appear to be too many hurdles for a bipartisan committee to come to agreement on. The changes proposed, however, are unacceptable and would harm our retirees, our members, our employers (it assesses new fees against contributing employers) and our fund dramatically. Proposals like higher PBGC premiums and the lowering of the discount rate to 2 point above the corporate bond rate would cost us more, provide us less, and would not be helpful to our Pension Fund since they’re designed to help “critical and declining” plans which are in far worse financial condition than our Pension Fund. Operating Engineers 324 strongly opposes these proposed measures, and implores the committee to continue to work toward solutions that do not negatively impact plans and members like ours who are not in need of assistance and shouldn’t be endangered by changes in rules.