By Emily Gilbert
We are quickly approaching the end of September and the deadline for stakeholders to submit their comments to the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans.
The committee was formed as part of the bipartisan budget agreement approved by Congress in February of this year, and they are tasked with recommending a legislative solution to the multiemployer pension plan crisis. If a bipartisan group of at least 10 members agrees on a solution by November 30th, it will be fast tracked through the Senate. There have been five public hearings throughout this year, during which the members of the committee have heard from many people, including actuaries, PBGC officials, employers, and retirees themselves. In April, the committee announced that they were seeking input from all stakeholders and encouraged the public to submit their comments to the committee.
There are thousands of workers and retirees who have already seen drastic cuts to their pensions as their plans became severely underfunded. There are more than a million workers and retirees in plans that could apply to cut benefits. It is imperative that the members of the committee work together to find a solution to this problem before the end of this year.
The Joint Select Committee members want to hear directly from the people most affected by this crisis, so we encourage you to write to them and tell them how this crisis affects you. Are you an employer whose business will be affected if your plan goes insolvent? Are you a retiree who will struggle to make ends meet if your pension gets cut? Write to the committee to tell them your story. Most importantly, tell them you hope they work together to develop a bipartisan solution that saves underfunded pension plans, protects the earned benefits of workers and retirees, and that puts the PBGC on sound footing. This issue is urgent, and they need to know that you expect them to work together to find a solution.
Directions for submitting comments to the committee can be found on the Committee’s website, here. The deadline is this Sunday, September 30th.
Our recent action alert will also help you write to your members of Congress (who may not be Committee members) to tell them to support the work of the Joint Select Committee.
Read our fact sheet on Multiemployer Reform