July 24, 2019

House Passes Butch Lewis Act to Save Earned Pension Benefits; Senate Must Now Follow Suit

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding the House passage of H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, also known as the Butch Lewis Act:

“Today’s bipartisan vote to pass the Butch Lewis Act by the U.S. House of Representatives is welcome news for 1.3 million pension plan participants. The pension benefits they earned over many years could be cut by 50-75% because their pension plans are at risk of insolvency, not because of anything they did.

“The Butch Lewis Act would provide a loan to these plans, to be repaid in full in 30 years. There is ample precedent for this action. Time and again the U.S. government has provided bailouts or loan guarantees to troubled industries facing dire circumstances. Billions of dollars in bailouts have gone to banks and corporations. Congress should extend the same assistance to these workers.

“The Senate must now also pass this critical legislation. If they do not act quickly dozens of plans will become insolvent. These loans will not only help the workers, but also save the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation $47 billion in potential liabilities.

“The members of the Alliance for Retired Americans will be watching the Senate actions on this bill carefully.”

Note: A video reaction to this vote by Alliance President Robert Roach, Jr. is available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEzw5tXv8V4&feature=youtu.be.

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Contact: David Blank – dblank@retiredamericans.org

 

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