We’ve been writing about the need for pension reform within the multiemployer space for years by highlighting what failure to act would produce for the critical and declining pension plans and their participants. We’ve questioned how the US government could possibly sanction these draconian cuts through the MPRA (2014 pension “reform”) legislation.
It is easy to focus on the numbers – 130 plans and 1.4 million Americans – but what is happening and what will likely continue to happen to these plan participants needs to be heard through their individual stories. The following link, https://www.youtube.com/…/UCKC1NJczAKwWd2LB3B…/videos…has the stories of 15 brave individuals willing to share their perspective on how these drastic and unacceptable cuts have impacted their remaining years. It is an incredibly sobering reality. In one case, a retiree initially lost 50% of their benefit, only to then lose another 70% of that reduced “benefit”. As his wife indicated, they often deferred raises to support additional contributions being made into their plans to help fund that promise of a dignified retirement.
What the Covid-19 crisis is highlighting is the fact that a majority of Americans are hanging on financially by their fingertips, and pensioners are certainly no different, especially for those that have already seen their benefits slashed and for those in plans that are likely to fail without significant support in the immediate future. Can we really afford to cast them aside?