Neal, Teamsters Voice Support for H.R. 4444
BOSTON, MA – U.S. Representative Richard E. Neal joined International Vice President of the Teamsters Union John Murphy and members of Teamsters Local 122 for a press conference touting the benefits of H.R. 4444, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act.
“I introduced this legislation because I have been a longtime leader on retirement issues and I wanted to help address the multiemployer pension crisis,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “Hard-working Americans who planned their whole lives for a financially secure retirement should not have those assurances taken away through no fault of their own. These are people who year after year chose to contribute to their pensions instead of taking a wage increase. It is critical that we address this crisis and help these retirees whose retirements are now at risk by no fault of their own.”
This legislation aims at financially supporting troubled multiemployer pension plans so they don’t fail. The bill would create the Pension Rehabilitation Administration as an agency within the U.S. Treasury Department. The PRA would sell Treasury- issued bonds in the open market to large investors such as financial firms. The PRA would then lend the money from the sale of the bonds to the financially troubled pension plans. For plans that need additional assistance, PBGC would provide financial assistance to make up the difference. A related bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), S. 2147, the Butch Lewis Act of 2017.
“It is imperative that Congress pass the Butch Lewis Act of 2017,” said John Murphy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 122 in Boston and International Vice President of the Teamsters Union. “This legislation offers a real solution to the growing pension crisis. Rep. Neal and Sen. Brown are fighting for every active and retired worker that could see their hard-earned retirement destroyed through no fault of their own.”
“There are hundreds of thousands of Teamster active and retired members that could see their retirement security decimated if this legislation isn’t passed,” said Joe Zuffante, retired Teamster from Arlington, Mass. and former president of Local 122. “This is an epidemic that will roll across the country unless Congress acts now. I’d like to thank Rep. Neal for his leadership in moving this legislation forward.”
This bill has currently been referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Appropriations, as well as the Committee on Ways and Means. Full text of the bill can be found here.