Teamsters’ union retirees, as well as those from other unions, may be facing tough times soon, as their long-revered pension funds consider cutting back on the payments being made.
According to an article linked by the Teamsters for a Democratic Union, truck drivers are among those who are facing an uncertain future, thanks to the budget signed by U.S. President Obama in December.
In fact, according to the article, some truck drivers may see their pension payments cut in half.
The cuts will be allowed thanks to an amendment that was tucked into the most recent federal budget, which was approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in December.
About 100,000 New Yorkers who depend on a variety of private-sector union pensions could be facing lowered payments in coming years.
And while the pension fund that Raffiani relies on, the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund, is the most prominent and most threatened pension fund right now, the amendment opens the door for potential future cuts to an estimated 10 million retirees nationwide who are enrolled in “multi-employer” pension plans.
Since the trucking industry was deregulated in 1980, there have been fewer big companies paying into the plan, and even fewer union drivers contributing to the fund. Add in the lingering hit from the 2008 financial crash and the plan, which now pays $4 in retirement funds for every dollar it’s collecting, is facing long-term peril.
As a result, the fund’s managers sought and got permission from Congress to make the cuts if needed.
Raffiani says his approximately $3,000 monthly pension could be cut almost in half.
The budget provision that allows for pensions to be cut was drafted by long-time pro-union Congressman George Miller [D-CA], as well as Rep. John Kline [R-MN] and signed by President Obama in December.