Release Date: Jul 16, 2008Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Union Pension Report Taints "Take Back the Economy" Day
Hudson Institute Study: Union Workers' Pensions in Danger
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce echoed concerns raised in a study released today by the Hudson Institute, finding serious under-funding among many union-sponsored pension plans. On the eve of the Service Employees International Union's (SEIU) "Take Back the Economy" rallies, the study cites a widespread trend of poor performance of union pensions, including many SEIU plans.
"Shortchanging workers' retirements is no way to 'take back the economy,'" said the U.S. Chamber's Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Steven Law. "This report suggests that the real motive for slapdash organizing schemes like the 'Employee Free Choice Act' is to force more workers into unions to prop up hollowed-out benefits for current members. This strategy is fundamentally hostile to workers' rights and economic interests."
According to the study, employer-controlled pension plans notably outperformed union pension funds and collectively bargained pension plans were more poorly funded than their non-union counterparts. While 36.5% of non-union plans were fully-funded, only 19% of union plans met this criterion.
The study also found that several unions, including the SEIU, were over-funding the private pension plans reserved for their officers and executives, while allowing the pension plans for their rank-and-file members to slide toward insolvency. The Hudson Institute study also discovered that some union executives were using their members' and employees' retirement assets to pursue political agendas through shareholder activism.
The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.
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