Sen. Tina Smith Fights to Ensure 22,000 Retired Minnesota Workers Can Keep Hard-Earned Pensions

After recently meeting with retirees in Duluth whose hard-earned pensions are at risk of being drastically reduced due to chronic underfunding of the Central States Pension Fund, U.S. Senator Tina Smith is backing up her promise to support legislation that would help protect the pensions of retirees across the country, including 22,000 in Minnesota.

The Butch Lewis Act—named for a veteran who was the head of his local union in Ohio and who fought to preserve fellow Teamsters’ pensions—would help shore up the Central States Pension Fund and strengthen the multi-employer pension system for all workers by creating a Pension Rehabilitation Trust Fund and establishing a Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Department of the Treasury.

“Central States retirees earned their pensions through a lifetime of hard work and they deserve to know their retirement should be secure,” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “I’m proud to support this legislation because I want to make sure all Americans—including the 22,000 Minnesotans who are part of the Central States plan— receive the benefits they’ve earned. And I’ll be working with my Senate colleagues to fight to pass this bill into law for our workers.”

The Butch Lewis Act was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and is cosponsored by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).

You can read more about the bill here.