Committee Democrats Fight for Bipartisan Solution to PBGC Multiemployer Pension Program Crisis

TODAY, the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing entitled, “Financial Challenges Facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): Implications for Pension Plans, Workers, and Retirees.” The multiemployer pension system is facing a looming collapse, threatening Americans’ retirement security. Without updates to the current law, the PBGC multiemployer program will run out of money by the end of 2025, if not sooner.

“I believe we should be guided by the simple principle that it is not the fault of the workers or the retirees’ that their pension plan is on the brink of insolvency. These Americans worked a lifetime and earned their pension.  American workers don’t want a bailout, they just want the pension promise that was made to them to be upheld,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Gregorio Sablan (NMI-AL). “We also must keep in mind that the costs of inaction are enormous and the consequences will be devastating.”

A few major multiemployer pension plans are projected to be insolvent within the next decade. If that happens, it will have a devastating effect on impacted retirees, their families, communities, employers, and the economy.

The longer the delay in making the changes needed to improve the solvency of the Multiemployer Program, the more disruptive and painful those changes will be for participants, plans, and employers,” said Honorable W. Thomas Reeder, Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. “The result will be catastrophic for many people—current and former workers, retirees, beneficiaries, and their families.”

Working people, families, and retirees who work hard to save for retirement need this crisis addressed immediately. Today’s hearing was a positive first step forward. Subcommittee Democrats stand ready to work together in a bipartisan way to quickly and responsibly help failing multiemployer plans and make sure the PBGC continues to serve its critical function.

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