Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sen. Franken: Treasury Department Decision to Reject Steep Pension Cuts is Important News for Retirees in Minnesota, Across Country


A ticket with Hillary Clinton and Minnesota's Al Franken as her veep pick would be formidable against whichever clowns the GOP earth haters nominate.

Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) released the following statement after the Department of Treasury rejected a plan that would have drastically cut the hard-earned pensions of nearly 15,000 retirees in Minnesota and across the country.

The announcement, which you can read about by clicking here, means that retired workers who paid into the Central States Pension Fund will not be forced to face pension cuts of up to 50 percent.

"I believe Minnesotans who work hard and are promised financial security ought to be able to retire with dignity," said Sen. Franken. "Teamster retirees worked for decades and paid in to the Central States Pension Fund under the promise that when they retired their pensions would be there to support them and their loved ones. That's why I'm glad the Department of Treasury recognized something I've been saying for a long time now: these proposed cuts were ill-conceived and unfair to the men and women who earned their pensions. This is the right decision for Minnesota retirees, and now, Congress needs to have an open and honest debate on the long-term solvency of our multi-employer pension system—because we must uphold the promises made to all workers."

In 2014, the Multi-employer Pension Reform Act—a law that Sen. Franken voted against—removed pension protections that had been in place for 40 years and allowed pension plans to apply for permission to cut retiree benefits. As a member of the Senate Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Franken heard from many Minnesotans who feared that pensions cuts won't just severely affect their quality of retirement, but may also force them out of their homes.

Sen. Franken is a cosponsor of the Keep Our Pension Promises Act, which would restore pension protections for retirees, and last month, he led a broad coalition of Senators in warning the Treasury Department that approving the cuts would be devastating to hundreds of thousands of Americans and raising significant concerns with the Central States application.

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