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Detroit Unions Call for Pension Fix

DETROIT, Mich.—Hundreds of retirees and union workers joined House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the heads of the Teamsters and United Auto Workers in Detroit July 20 for a town-hall meeting calling for legislation to fix the nation’s threatened multiemployer pension plans. “Failure is not an option,” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) told the Detroit Free Press before the event at Teamsters Local 299’s union hall. “You see this room? These are people’s lives.” Among the people packing the room was Local 299 member Dan Scott, 59, a mechanic whose pension would come from the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund—which has about $26 billion in unfunded liabilities and is expected to be insolvent by 2025. He said he would like to retire in three years and would normally receive a pension of about $3,000 a month, but if the fund goes under, “they would be broke where we’d get nothing.” Pelosi backed the Butch Lewis Act, a bill that would have a Treasury Department agency issue bonds to finance low-interest 30-year loans to pension plans at risk of insolvency. “We’ve already given. It’s time to save our pensions,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. Read more

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