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Pascrell Hails Committee Passage of Landmark Pension Protections

At long last, a version of the Butch Lewis bill will provide critical help to multiemployer pension plans

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today celebrated the inclusion of legislation that will help preserve the pensions of retirees and workers through a unique public-private partnership that was passed today by the House Ways and Means Committee as part of President Biden’s urgent COVID-19 stimulus relief package.

“This is about the American worker. Workers entered into a contract with their employers. They were given a promise that if they forgoed current pay, in exchange they would receive a secure future,” said Rep. Pascrell. “But the promises the workers undertook are at hazard of being broken through zero fault of the workers. A promise was made to these workers and with this legislation we will hold that promise to its word. I hope the nation watching passage of these previsions sees that only one party is on the side of the American worker, while the other doesn’t give a damn about the American worker.”

For years, Rep. Pascrell and other members have sought to pass this pension protection. The plan passed in committee yesterday would create a special assistance financial assistance program under which cash payments would be made by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) to financially troubled multiemployer pension plans to ensure that these plans can continue paying retirees’ benefits. The amount of financial assistance would be the amount required for the plans to pay all the benefits due during the period beginning with the enactment of this legislation and ending generally in 2051, with no reduction in a participant’s benefit.

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