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‘Congress Believes Robbery is Easy When No One is Looking’

Statement of Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA, on Congressional Deliberation Affecting Multiemployer Pension Plans

Washington, D.C. (December 9, 2014) - Congressional negotiators are said to be considering a drastic increase on insurance premiums paid by multiemployer pension plans to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, potentially devastating many plans and threatening the hard-earned retirement benefits of millions of retirees. Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today regarding Congress and its process for considering the proposal:

Congress apparently believes robbery is easy if done in the dark of night when no one is looking. That’s the only rationale for the behavior of Congressional negotiators as they consider a proposal that could rob millions of senior citizens, retirees and future retirees of the pension benefits they worked their entire lives to earn.

 

The details negotiators are said to be considering are like throwing a single life preserver at a sinking Titanic. The mission of the PBGC is noble, but the fact is it is broke and it cannot be fixed. The rumored proposals would cost LIUNA retirees tens of millions of dollars a year, all for an impossible mission. Escalating the insurance tax is political posturing and back-room deal-making.

 

Since considering this egregious proposal, all the debate and discussion has been hidden from public scrutiny. That is cowardly. Men and women who face threats to their retirement security should at least be informed of what changes are being considered and see the faces and names of those about to deliver the sucker punch. We urge a transparent process and full airing of this issue so that those members of Congress who accept or vote for an attack on seniors can be placed on the unemployment line where they belong. 

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