Washington DC — The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is calling on Congress to include pension security as part of the financial rescue package expected to pass by day’s end tomorrow.
Current pension law provides that if a pension plan’s rating slips, benefits of retirees must be cut absent increases in funding. It would be grossly unfair to pensioners if their benefits were cut while a troubled financial institution receives bailout assistance.
The fair course to take would be to temporarily suspend the enforcement of the pension law until Congress develops a plan to allow pension portfolios to return to more normal levels.
This would benefit both union and non-union companies. It is crucial that any actions taken by Congress do not permanently reduce the pension benefits in an attempt to solve the temporary but serious financial crisis.
The retirement security for millions of workers and their families is on the line. Congress must be mindful of the long-term implications of the rescue package and how it relates to other regulatory laws that impact workers pensions. Failure to address the immediate adverse impact of the financial meltdown on pension plans would have disastrous consequences for ordinary working Americans who have an expectation of receiving adequate benefits at retirement.