WASHINGTON, D.C. [7/6/22]— Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) celebrated a key step in implementing pension relief funding to reverse pension cuts for thousands of Minnesotans who earned pensions through union jobs. The latest rule, issued by the federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, marks the completion of multiemployer pension system fixes which will bolster the solvency of the multiemployer pension system and prevent drastic cuts to pensions.
The multiemployer pension relief package included in the American Rescue Plan stems from Sen. Smith’s push to help the more than 1 million workers and retirees nationwide—including more than 22,000 Minnesotans—who had been facing deep cuts of up to 90 percent to their hard-earned pensions. The completion of these multiemployer pension system fixes ensure that pension benefits for workers and their families will be fully protected, and workers can enjoy the retirements they earned.
“After putting in a lifetime of hard work, retirees deserve the pensions they were promised,” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Labor and Pensions Committee. “Today’s announcement from the Biden Administration will not only ensure that thousands of hard-working Minnesotans will receive the secure retirement they’ve worked so hard to earn, but also help shore up pension systems across the country that millions of working Americans rely upon.”
Today’s announcement is a direct result of provisions in the American Rescue Plan, which Senator Smith helped secure in 2019. In 2018, Sen. Smith was one of just eight Senators named to a bipartisan committee on pension solvency, where she worked with Minnesota retirees to fix the struggling Central States fund and to improve the solvency of multiemployer pension funds across the country. She was also a key supporter of the Butch Lewis Act, a measure aimed at protecting the pensions of retirees in Minnesota and across the country. The final rule implementing the pension fix, which was finalized today, was based on that legislation.
More information on the final rule is available here.