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March 06, 2017

The Alliance is Leading the Fight to Protect the Three-Legged Stool

Americans for decades have planned to live the American Dream in retirement through the three-legged stool of pensions, savings and Social Security. This dream has been threatened by wage stagnation, low interest rates, and corporate America’s attack on defined benefit pension plans. It has been further eroded by the Republican Party’s constant rhetoric about “entitlement reform,” which is code for cutting Social Security benefits that workers have earned through mandatory payroll deductions.

The Alliance leadership has been partnering with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which is a federal agency created to protect pension plans in the private sector, academics, and other retiree organizations to support our affiliate unions in this fight. We are in the process of developing a program with the Pension Rights Center (PRC) to educate the new generation of union leaders about how to navigate through a corporate bankruptcy and identify pension risk, as well as when and how to contact the PBGC.

National Alliance leadership, including President Robert Roach, Jr., Executive Director Richard Fiesta, and Legislative Representative Eva Dominguez, recently attended a meeting conducted by the PBGC and was updated on current issues related to pension plans. On March 3, we responded to a PBGC “Request for Information” concerning alternative methods for handling multi-employer withdrawal liability. To read our response, click here.

The text includes the following:

“It is important that there are financially sound pension funds to meet the obligations owed to retirees.”  We also encouraged the use of new tools, such as obtaining surety bonds, letters of credit, and/or securing assets to protect the pension participants’ benefits and the solvency of the PBGC.

President Roach stated, ”We must demand that our government live up to its Constitutional obligations to ‘secure the blessings of liberty’ to all of its citizens. In this case that means proper funding of the PBGC, proper regulations to protect our defined benefit pension and 401(k) retirement plans, and living up to the Social Security contract with the American people. The three-legged stool is a right, and the Alliance will fight side-by-side with the AFL-CIO affiliated unions to maintain and enhance it.”

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