8 thoughts on “Forbes post, “Some Good News On Multiemployer Pensions”

  1. I appreciate your balance with such a multifaceted problem. My initial thought is that the unions made their bed and now they should sleep in it. That said, there is empathy for the individuals who may have been naive and now find themselves in this precarious situation. A bailout amounts to a huge tax increase for everyone which is penalizing the public for the graft and incompetence of union leadership. Cost benefit analysis must consider additional government benefits that impacted participants will use such as Medicaid, SNAP, etc. as well as the macroeconomic ripples to GDP, interest rates and unemployment.

    1. If you have not actually studied the history of this problem it would be easy to imagine
      that union incompetence or corruption was obviously to blame. However nearly all of this problem has been a failure of public policy, oversight and can kicking political indolence.
      Just one fact. The largest failing plan
      Central States Teamsters has been overseen by DOL and the 5th Circuit Court since 1982 by consent decree. All of the buildings blocks of this crisis have been conveyed to the appropriate public servants over the last 40 years no reasonable plan or planning took place. The 2014 MPRA only cynically cut retirees in an attempt to cover the malfeasance. Trust this the taxpayers will be protected it comes down to which taxpayers.

  2. From what I can tell, a large majority of the 50 and over crowd are unprepared for retirement. A large federal bailout for a small subset of that group is simply wrong. Treating this as a one-off problem unrelated to the larger situation will only make the total problem worse; there will be fewer assets available for others in similar situations, and it will raise their expectations to get more than is possible.
    The list of underfunded problems that the recipients or there representatives must be hoping the federal government will step in to fix goes well beyond private multi-employer pensions. Many state and local pensions are significantly underfunded; similarly, many state and local governments have promised health benefits to retirees that they have limited to no reserves to cover. Social Security is on pace to a significant benefit cut without any changes (read: bailout) in 15 years.
    The NCCMP Principles strike me as insane or completely disingenuous; the only discussion about funding is:
    – Premium increases must not take place until the PBGC demonstrates the financial
    need for increased premiums after full consideration of all funding sources.
    What sources might those be? The only funding sources enabled by the PBGC legislation are:
    – Insurance premiums paid by sponsors of defined benefit pension plans;
    – Assets held by the pension plans it takes over;
    – Recoveries of unfunded pension liabilities from plan sponsors bankruptcy estates; and
    – Investment income.
    Which of those are going to magically produce enough new revenue to cover the underfunded status of the private multi-employer pensions?
    Shifting underfunded pensions into the PBGC before honestly addressing the funding issues is just an attempt to raise the pressure for a federal bailout without driving all of the companies currently on the hook for these pensions bankrupt.

  3. It amazes me the lack of consideration, and respect for the American life’s that could be affected in this dilemma. The American workers who have done nothing wrong, by following the excepted path designed by our own Government. Myself, I’m 66 years (Army Veteran) old with 41 years served into the Central States pension fund as a Teamster.

    It was not my fault that when I honorably discharged (Sergeant military policeman) out of the service in 1975 when affirmative action was in place. Even tho I finished in the upper 3% in testing for the Milwaukee County Sheriffs Department I was the wrong gender and race to be hired at the time. I was put on a waiting list with others who suffered in the same position. So I worked in a slaughterhouse until I was able to gain employment with a Non Union trucking Company. I was working 7 days, 75 to 110 hours a week driving semi. Completely illegal, i worried every night I would fall asleep at the wheel! But I had kids to feed and jobs were limited, responsibility should be a honored achievement, not at the expense of life! And when I was finally called by the sheriff department, I was making more money then the starting wage as a Deputy, $10 a hour driving truck.

    Company’s involved with Unions had to respect the laws created by our government and the DOT. So I joined the Teamsters Union 41 years ago for the safety of myself and the general public. That’s right, the general public, which so many would be critics of Union Employees fail to recognize. Ask yourself this question, who do you want on the road with your families, a Union driver who can’t be discharged for not braking the law, or instructed to perform a unsafe act. Or a Non Union driver who is at will to his employer, who may be a law braking employer? Union drivers work a maximum of 60 hours a week in 7 days or 70 hours a week in 8 days. You have all seen the horrible semi accidents out on the highways with families crushed in their vehicles. How many were from drivers falling asleep at the wheel because their so tired? There are many good Non Union employers, that’s not what I wish to imply, but with the bad ones you did the work or your we’re discharged.

    How many people out there wish to throw Unions down the drain because of dirt balls who exist in every walk of life! The real issue here (earned pensions) is for the life’s of millions of Americans who have done everything to raise their families respectfully within the laws of our Country. Laws are designed to be enforceable, responsibility of the enforcement of those laws fall on our Government to watch over all Americans, Union and Non Union. There should be no divide as to our category of affiliation, we are all Americans! The government has been aware of these issues for many many years with all pension funds, Union and non Union. The pension funds have been going to capital hill for many years begging both the senate and the congress for attention to address the pension train coming down the track, only to be turned away. The bankruptcy laws were designed to put Wall Street on the front of the bus during liquidation, and put the unfunded liabilities owed by the Company to the pension funds on the back of the bus. Not the fault of working Americans at all! The political world has neglected to remedy the dilemma for years, until now as they have reached a point of no return if nothing is done again. And guess what, elections are coming up!

    Guess what also folks, I have watched our great Country help just about every Country in the world one way or another, some with the lives of my Brothers and Sisters in the arm services. I would hope all was done with the notion it was justifiable and necessary. Would helping “all pension funds be justifiable”, absolutely we are all Americans, many who have served this Country. Is it “necessary”, absolutely again, if not the PBGC will go broke in 2022 when the miners fund alone goes insolvent. That would include the funds promised from the PBGC to the retired “Non Union” folks would go down as well. A tsunami created by a lack of attention for all retirees across our great nation would be put in motion, no income! Imagine seniors standing on corners with help signs!

    Stop the attacks on good Americans based on affiliations approved by the laws of our land! The Government and the political world need to do what their elected to do, resolve the issues for the invisible people, Senior Americans and all Americans! We all pay taxes no matter what affiliation, even seniors. Doing nothing in regards to this issue will not have the effect of kicking the can down the road, the can will come to a stop in 2022! It’s not a bail out, pension fund guarantees were promised by the laws of our land to all Americans!

  4. The government has no money, only what they can take( tax) from us who work.
    I am tired of paying for everyone else’s screw ups.

  5. And those that worked for 30+ years, gave up raises so that they could put that amount into their pension fund for use when they retired are forced to take a 29% cut in said pension through no fault of their own because congress passed a last minute, 12th hour, back of the page (to avoid any shutdowns) in 2014! Many now retirees have taken the big cut and live each day wondering when and how much the next one will be.
    Apparently only big banks and auto industry should be given any thought or help from our government! SMH

  6. Commenting here is indeed a waste of time. You are correct about one thing. All you do is soap box.It is quite clear that yet AGAIN your interest is only in promoting the scum bags at the NCCMP and their agenda. The very people who mismanaged and looted these funds and created this crisis.Prove me wrong. How about a story on who the NCCMP are and their role in writing the Multi Employer Reform Act which they created after their last failed attempt to get BAILOUT money in 2010. Detail their creation of the World Pension Alliance and them FALSELY presenting themselves as “High Ranking Decision Making Authority Representing the United States” at AEIP Conferences. How about a story on what the BS composite plan model the NCCMP got from Canadas MEBCO will do to an existing Defined Benefit plan.All you have to do is review the Ohio Carpenters Pension fund cuts using MPRA application to Treasury.You do not provide an unbiased review. You spew propaganda to promote agendas.

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