The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has forwarded comments to the Treasury Department that call for it to reject the recent application for substantial cuts to retiree benefits submitted by the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan (Central States) under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2015 (MPRA).
We have attached a letter from the two of us to Treasury Secretary Lew that presents the basic case as to why we believe that Treasury must reject the Central States application. Our letter is accompanied by a detailed critique of the Central States application that can be found and downloaded at www.teamster.org.
As you know, the IBT opposed the MPRA and the method in which it was passed – in the dead of night with no public hearings or debate as part of a larger bill. But since it was passed, the Treasury Department is responsible for reviewing applications under the law. Our submission to Treasury is a response to the application. The Central States application, our submission and dozens of other public comments can be found at www.regulations.gov.
It is time for Congress to repeat the MPRA and provide relief to troubled multiemployer pension funds that protects retirees, instead of forcing them to bear the burden of a crisis they had nothing to do with.
We will be reaching out to you and your members again soon to engage you in the next stage in this fight, including intensifying the legislative campaign to pass Keep Our Pension Promises Act (S. 1631/H.R. 2844) and the Pension Accountability Act (S. 2147/H.R. 4029).
James P. Hoffa