Congressman Tim Ryan Joined Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Senator Bernie Sanders to Introduce Legislation to Protect Pensions

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) joined Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.) in introducing legislation to protect the pensions of up to 10 million workers and retirees.

The Keep Our Pension Promises Act would reverse a provision passed in 2014 that could result in deep pension cuts for millions of retirees and workers in multi-employer pension plans.

“I am proud to work with Congresswoman Kaptur and Senator Sanders to introduce the Keep Our Pensions Promises Act, which provides a common sense solution to our multiemployer insurance system. It would strengthen our country’s pension plans and provide additional funding to the PBGC so that no man or woman needs to worry about whether or not they are going to receive their rightfully owed pension. Every day these workers went to work with the understanding that their future was secure with the benefits they were promised. This bill makes sure that the United States Government keeps that promise,” said Congressman Ryan.

“Pensions are deferred income and retirees are owed these earned benefits. My bill with Senator Sanders ensures that we do right by our people," Kaptur said. "I thank the cosponsors of the Keep Our Pension Promises Act in the House and Senate and I urge the rest of my colleagues to come to the table and support this bill. I will fight every day to defend retirees. No matter where retirees draw their retirement, whether it is a pension, a 401k or Social Security, Americans deserve financial stability and security in their older years."

“We have got to send a very loud and clear message to the Republican leadership in Congress and the president of the United States. When a promise is made to the working people of this country with respect to their pensions and retiree health benefits that promise cannot be broken,” Sanders said. “If Congress could bailout Wall Street and foreign banks throughout the world, we certainly can protect the pension benefits of American workers.”

In December 2014, Congress approved and the president signed a spending bill that included provisions that allow for dramatic cuts to financially troubled multi-employer pensions. Under this provision, the pension benefits of retirees could be cut by 30 percent or more. Before the law was changed, it was illegal for an employer to cut the pension benefits retirees have earned.

The new legislation establishes a legacy fund within the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to ensure that multi-employer pension plans can continue to provide pension benefits to every eligible American for decades to come. This legislation is paid for by closing two tax loopholes that allow the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

To read a summary of the bill, click here.

To read the full text, click here.