CONGRESSMAN MORELLE VOTES TO ENSURE RETIREES RECEIVE THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS THEY HAVE EARNED | Representative Joseph Morelle

CONGRESSMAN MORELLE VOTES TO ENSURE RETIREES RECEIVE THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS THEY HAVE EARNED

July 16, 2019
Press Release
Legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Morelle prevents millions of Americans, including over 1,200 New Yorkers, from losing their pensions

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, Congressman Joe Morelle voted to pass the Butch Lewis Act, protecting the pensions of millions of retirees across America. The legislation, which Rep. Morelle co-sponsors, seeks to address the multiemployer pension crisis that threatens to cause 1.3 million workers and their families to lose the retirement benefits they have earned through a lifetime of hard work.

“Older Americans should never have to live in fear that their hard-earned retirement benefits could slip away,” said Rep. Morelle. “That’s why I’m proud to co-sponsor and vote in favor of this critical legislation that safeguards the essential benefits workers and their families deserve. There is no time to waste – I urge the Senate to join us and pass this bill immediately to bring peace of mind to the millions of retirees and their families who depend on these pensions.”

Approximately 10 million Americans have paid into multi-employer pensions, and over 1 million of them are currently in plans that are running out of money through no fault of the beneficiaries. If Congress does not act, 1.3 million workers and retirees in multi-employer pension plans are at risk of losing their hard-earned benefits. In addition, allowing these plans to collapse would cost taxpayers between $170 billion and $240 billion over ten years due to lost federal tax revenue and increased reliance on social programs.

The Butch Lewis Act, named for an Ohio union leader who passed away while fighting to save these essential benefits and pensions, establishes a new agency within the Department of Treasury called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA). The PRA would be authorized to issue bonds in order to finance loans to “critical and declining” status multiemployer pension plans, providing the funds they need to remain solvent and safeguarding retirement security for retirees and workers for decades to come. 

The text of the legislation is available here.

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