WASHINGTON D.C. — After years of severe underfunding, the multi-employer pension system that serves truck drivers, carpenters, bakers, and more has been made solvent and well-funded for thirty years with no cuts to the earned benefits of participants and beneficiaries. The Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act is legislation to help severely financially troubled multi-employer plans meet their benefit obligations to retired participants. It was included as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which President Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021.
This comes from the hard work of Democratic Senators such as Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. The Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act allows certain underfunded multi-employer plans to apply for taxpayer-funded financial assistance to ensure retirees benefits are restored and protected.
The federal agency overseeing the program, has already approved over $7 billion in financial assistance for plans covering over 100,000 people. More than 20 plans that previously cut benefits have so far been approved for financial relief that allows them to restore the full monthly payments participants earned.
“Hundreds of thousands of Ohio retirees and workers can now breathe easier knowing that the pensions they were promised will be there for them and their families,” said Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. “After years of fighting alongside Ohio retirees, workers, and small businesses, we finally have a solution that will not only protect these pensions but will stimulate our local economies and prevent a major bailout that would have cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars if we did nothing.”
More information about the Act can be found here.