via Transport Topics News,
by Rip Watson, ttnews.com,
April 14, 2016,
WASHINGTON — Thousands of Teamsters retirees, angered by looming pension cuts of 50% or more, descended on Washington April 14 to protest the reductions ahead of a May 7 deadline for a Treasury Department decision on the proposed cutbacks.
Treasury is considering a proposal from the Central States Pension Fund, the largest Teamsters pension fund, to make the cuts. The agency was told by CSPF the cuts were needed to create a long-term survival plan, since it could run out of money in as little as a decade.
The fund, with more than 220,000 Teamsters retirees, pays out $3.46 in benefits for every dollar it receives, and spent $2 billion more than it collected in 2014. In that year, Congress passed a law requiring pension funds in “critical” financial condition such as CSPF to submit rescue plans. The demonstration’s backdrop was the U.S. Capitol building, where two measures have been introduced to undo the 2014 measure. To date, there is no sign the measures would advance. “Congress bailed out Wall Street,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa told Transport Topics. “Now it’s time to give us a hand. We are concentrating on getting Treasury to shoot down the Central States proposal.”