Congressman Tim Ryan Applauds Rejection of Cuts to 47,000 Ohioans’ Pensions

May 6, 2016 Issues: Helping Working Families

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan made the following statement on the U.S. Treasury Department’s rejection of the Central States Pension Fund’s proposed plan that would have cut the pensions of more than 47,000 Ohioans and 10 million Americans nationwide.

“I applaud the Department of Treasury for making the right decision and rejecting this atrocious plan that would have decimated tens of thousands of Ohioans, including 4,000 in my district, and millions of Americans’ retirement. It is not only wrong, but immoral to gut the pensions that these hard working Americans earned.

“Pensions are not ‘benefits’ given as a gift from employer to employee, they are payment for work that was already done. And when these pensions are cut or dissolved, it is a clear breach of contract and workers are being robbed.

“This is a positive announcement, but the fight is not over. Moving forward I will continue to work with my Congressional colleagues to ensure that these Americans get what they are owed.”

Ryan strongly and vocally opposed the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (which allowed multi-employer pension plans to reduce payments to remain solvent) and voted against the FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, in which this legislation was included. As a result, workers that gave up raises and other benefits to get a pension are now vulnerable to losing as much as 60 percent of their hard-earned benefits.

Ryan is an original cosponsor of the Pension Accountability Act (HR 4029) and the Keep Our Pension Promises Act (HR 2844).

In February of 2016, Ryan urged Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master for Implementation at the U.S. Department of Treasury (the official in charge of approving the Central States Pension Fund’s plan who made today’s announcement) to strongly oppose the reduction in benefits proposed by the Central States Board of Trustees.

In April 14, 2016, Ryan spoke at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Washington, DC Rally Ryan and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) hosted a Special Order on the Floor of the House of Representatives to Raise Awareness of Central States Pension Issue.