Legislation to Protect Retiree Healthcare Benefits
October 7, 2011
By Neal Tepel
The national retiree advocacy organization ProtectSeniors.Org is applauding the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 827 for actively and aggressively seeking passage of federal legislation to protect earned retiree health care benefits.
In a letter to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, East Windsor based IBEW Local 827, which represents over 5,200 active union members and 8,000 retirees, across New Jersey is advocating its support for the Earned Retiree Health care Benefits Protection Act of 2011 (HR1322). The legislation would prevent employers from making post-retirement cuts to benefits that their retirees earned and paid for already during their working years.
According to the union, over 1 million New Jersey retirees (among an estimated 14.3 million retirees nationally) are covered by company sponsored retirement health care coverage. The IBEW letter asks Senator Menendez to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
In the letter, William D. Huber, President and Business Manager of IBEW Local 827 said, “We are concerned for our retirees bargained for benefits… The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act fails to protect our benefits and that is why we are seeking support for H.R. 1322 and would like to ask for your support by introducing a Senate companion to H.R. 1322. This legislation is needed to protect those who made corporations profitable today and is needed to keep taxpayer costs out of the healthcare system under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act.”