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President’s Budget Raids Pension Plans of Working Class Americans

Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2016) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement in response to the proposed increase in Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums for multiemployer plans as part of President Obama's FY 2017 budget proposal:

The President’s proposed fivefold tax increase on pensions is a raid on the retirement security of working class Americans. The tax will cost LIUNA's multiemployer pension funds millions of dollars every single year.

 

LIUNA has been adamant in our opposition to past efforts to raise PBGC premiums - opposing efforts in 2014 to increase premiums from $13 to $26. This misguided and egregious proposed increase will divert money to a failing entity-the PBGC, which appears to be doomed in any event.

 

The President’s plan is ill conceived and will destabilize a pension plan system which has helped Americans retire in dignity, rather than poverty for decades.

 

Combined with the 40 percent health benefits tax or so-called “Cadillac Tax,” which could financially cripple many health care plans, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the President’s aim is to dismantle the health care and retirement security of middle class workers that was created by the American labor movement.

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The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.