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MEMBER ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to support multiemployer pension reform

August 7 2013
Pension/Health and Welfare Benefits

TAUC is encouraging its membership to send the template letter below to your representatives in Congress so that meaningful reform can be enacted prior to when the Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006 sunsets at the end of 2014.

TAUC members cannot wait for plans to fail, for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to become insolvent or for a Congressional bailout that is neither be sought or expected to occur. To proactively address this problem, TAUC joined a group of more than 40 labor and business stakeholders to form the Retirement Security Review Commission, a group whose goal was to recommend solutions supported by both management and labor that would strengthen the existing system for the long term.

The result of that collaboration was a report entitled “Solutions Not Bailouts: A Comprehensive Plan from Business and Labor to Safeguard Multiemployer Retirement Security, Protect Taxpayers and Spur Economic Growth.” The recommendations in this report strengthen and preserve retirement security for those workers currently paying into the system, as well as for employers and retirees. The recommendations also address the challenges facing multiemployer plans that the PBGC and other agencies have identified as likely to become insolvent in the near future, thereby impacting the stability of multiemployer plan structure as a whole.

The situation for a small but significant percentage (7% to 10%) of multiemployer plans is urgent. The PBGC itself faces funding shortfalls and, absent Congressional intervention, eventual insolvency. To address these problems and those on the horizon (problems due in no small part to the financial collapse in 2008), the proposals in the Solutions Not Bailouts report benefit both the vast majority of plans that continue to recover from the great recession of 2008 and the minority of plans that, for a variety of reasons, will become insolvent in the long run. These proposals strengthen the majority of plans that are not threatened and have successfully weathered the recent economic crises. For multiemployer plans that are deeply troubled, the recommended changes will allow workers and retirees to maintain benefits above the PBGC guaranteed amount. These proposals also facilitate the development of new and innovative plan designs that will better enable the bargaining parties to adopt future plans tailored to their unique circumstances.

Thank you for your continued support. For more information visit the Multiemployer Pension Reform: Contractor Resource Page.

For more information please contact Todd Mustard, Sr. Director of Government Affairs at (703) 524-3336 x 112, or via email at tmustard@tauc.org.

Guidance on Writing and Submitting a Letter to your Elected Representative in Congress:

  1. Visit your elected representative’s website to determine guidelines for submitting a letter to his/her office. This can either be done by filling out a form on the website and writing/pasting your letter in the required format, or by hand writing or typing your letter and physically mailing it into his/her office.
  2. It is recommended that you submit your letter via the suggested channels on the member’s website, as physical mail is often extremely delayed in delivery due to strict security guidelines instituted by the U.S. House and Senate.
  3. For your letter, keep it brief and get right to the point. Members of Congress receive hundreds of letters a day. Brevity is a plus in ensuring your message resonates with the staff member reading it.
  4. When you have sent the letter, please send a copy to nccmp@blueenginemedia.com so we can compile the efforts of our supporters and leverage this support in the future.
  5. Below is a sample letter that you can borrow from/use/modify.
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