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TAUC Applauds Introduction of GROW Act

February 14 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC), which represents more than 2,000 contractor firms in the union construction and maintenance industry, applauds Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Donald Norcross (D-NJ) on the introduction of the Growing Retirement Options for Workers Act (GROW Act).

The bipartisan GROW Act (H.R. 4997) addresses one of the most pressing issues in our industry: the need to modernize and strengthen the multiemployer pension system for the 21st century through the authorization of flexible composite plans. The GROW Act provides local joint labor-management trustees of multiemployer pension plans a new voluntary – not mandatory – tool to ensure the stability and long-term viability of their pension funds.

Authorizing these new flexible plan designs would also address the uncertainty facing both contributing employers who pay into the funds and the participants in collectively bargained multiemployer benefit plans – and at no cost to the federal government or pension plan participants.

“The GROW Act is the right legislation at the right time,” said TAUC CEO Steve Lindauer. “It provides a crucial tool for plan trustees to chart a responsible and sustainable course for the future and ensure retirees receive the benefits they deserve – and were promised.”

Lindauer added, “Composite plans are strong yet flexible, and provide local labor-management trustees a tool to ensure their plans can confront today’s financial realities. These plans provide reliable, lifetime retirement security for plan participants through an annuitized life-time benefit, much like defined benefit pension plans. At the same time, they provide employers with the cost certainty typically associated with defined contribution plans.”

Significantly, the composite plan system authorized through the GROW Act would also eliminate withdrawal liability for employers going forward, thus providing much-needed cost predictability by requiring that employers only contribute the amount negotiated in their collective bargaining agreements and not take on additional unknowable liabilities.

“Our industry has been advocating for composite plans for quite some time,” Lindauer noted. “Representatives Roe and Norcross listened to us and understood how important composite plans are to the future of our industry and the multiemployer pension system. By taking this bold action today, they show that they are willing to fight for our craftworkers.”

TAUC encourages its members and industry partners to support the bill by going to saveourfutures.com and clicking on the “Take Action” link in the top right corner.

The Association of Union Constructors is the premier national trade association for the 21st century union construction and maintenance industry. Our more than 2,000 member firms include union contractor companies, local union contractor associations and vendors in the industrial maintenance and construction fields. We demonstrate that union construction is the best option because it is safer and more productive, and provides a higher quality and cost-competitive product. For more information, log on to www.tauc.org.

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