Sen. Sherrod Brown: Pension problems ahead

Sherrod Brown

(Washington) - Democratic lawmakers are calling for the passage of legislation to shore up several union pension plans. They say numerous Ohio pension plans, are currently on the brink of failure and threatened by massive cuts. 

They including the massive Central States Teamsters Pension Plan, the United Mine Workers Pension Plan, the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Plan, the Ohio Southwest Carpenters Pension Plan and the Bakers and Confectioners Pension Plan. 

"These retirees sacrificed pay raises and benefits so that when they retired, they could do so with dignity," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). "They earned every dollar of their retirement, and out of no fault of their own, the money they earned is at risk. They held up their end of the bargain and it's time Congress held up ours and ensure they can keep what they've earned." 

Backers contend, The "Butch Lewis Act of 2017," would establish a new agency within the U.S. Treasury Department named the Pension Rehabilitation Administration, to provide loans to "critical and declining" multi-employer pension funds. 

The loan terms will require plans to make interest payments for 29 years with final interest and principal repayment due in year 30.

Butch Lewis is the ex-boxer and former retired head of Teamsters Local 100 in Evendale, Ohio, where he led the fight to preserve his fellow Teamsters’ pensions. He passed away in 2015, and now his wife, Rita, continues his fight, lobbying for Teamsters’ retirement security.

(Photos provided by Getty Images & Senator Sherrod Brown's office)

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