U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Ensure 22,000 Retired Minnesota Workers Don’t Lose Their Pensions

WASHINGTON, D.C. [07/24/19]With more than a million Americans facing massive cuts to their hard-earned pensionsincluding more than 22,000 MinnesotansU.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) continued her push to head off looming pension cuts and shore up the nation’s troubled pension systems.  

On Wednesday, Sen. Smith and several of her Senate colleagues reintroduced the Butch Lewis Act to help the chronically-underfunded Central States Pension Fund, which covers over 22,000 Minnesotans. The measure would also strengthen many more underfunded multi-employer pension plans across the country.

Since coming to the Senate, Sen. Smith has met with many Minnesotans who spent their working years paying into the troubled Central States Pension Fund, only to find that they may not receive the pensions they were promised. Last year, as part of her work to restore solvency to pension systems, she was named to a special panel to examine solutions to the pension crisis.

There are 22,000 Central States retirees in Minnesota, and thousands more in other plans, at risk of losing their pensions. These workers put in a lifetime of hard work, and deserve to know that their pensions are safe and secure,” said Sen. Smith. “This bill would provide a much-needed resolution to the crisis facing the multiemployer pension system and certainty to retirees living in retirement limbo.”

The Butch Lewis Act was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and is cosponsored by Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

You can access text of the bill here.