Looking for Something Positive to Write About

I am tired of writing about the problems within our retirement industry, of which there are many. I need something positive to write about, but I’m having difficulty during this chaotic time finding such a topic. Perhaps we can get excited at the prospect that Congress is actually thinking about cobbling together a fourth stimulus proposal following the recent passage of the $2.2 trillion CARES legislation.

There are rumblings that members of the House are preparing to include the Butch Lewis Act (BLA) in the next round of support. The Critical and Declining plans (roughly 125) were already teetering on the brink of insolvency. The stock market’s recent terrible performance will only speed up the time frame to insolvency, while likely pushing many of the multiemployer plans that were deemed to be in “Critical” status into the Critical and Declining bucket. Support for these pension funds is absolutely critical, as nearly 1.4 million American retirees and active plan participants could lose a significant percentage of their earned benefit. Their contribution to our economy, through the monthly benefit payments, is huge. We can’t afford any more revenue and demand shocks to our economy at this time.

While my fingers are crossed that we might see some action to help these struggling plans, I am not holding my breath, as pension reform for multiemployer plans has been on going for years and years. Stay well and stay safe!

2 thoughts on “Looking for Something Positive to Write About

  1. “There are rumblings that members of the House are preparing to include the Butch Lewis Act (BLA) in the next round of support” Lets hope not and we can only mobilize to make sure this does not happen. Once again why will you not answer Russ. Is it true that even if a loan program is created the CS fund will NOT qualify for a loan under the program.Further the OBGC application for assistance by CS would be denied because the PBGC does not have the money the CS fund would have to ask for.Oh yes and the original number you did not remember was $20-25 billion.So if the BLA will not help the CS fund and will not keep retirees whole then how does it serve retirees?? Am I asking an unfair question or perhaps asking the question incorrectly.

    • Good morning, Richard. I hope that you are staying healthy. I did not know the answer to your specific question, so I went to a respected source who was involved in crafting the Butch Lewis Act and he assured me that CS does, in fact, qualify for the loan program. Furthermore, my involvement in this effort was never solely focused on rescuing CS, but ALL 114 C&D plans at that time and now, unfortunately, many more. I don’t believe that there is another proposal that has been produced that serves the retiree better than the BLA. NONE. It is the only program that keeps them afloat for 30 years. That is a lot of benefit payments that otherwise wouldn’t be received.

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