U.S. Chamber Applauds Grassley and Alexander’s Efforts to Address Multiemployers Pension Crisis

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 2:45pm

Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Vice President of the Employment Policy Division, Glenn Spencer, issued the following statement after Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a summary of the Multiemployer Pension Recapitalization and Reform Plan, which addresses the multiemployer pension funding crisis and aims to reform the system.

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce commends Senators Grassley and Alexander for their efforts on their multiemployer pension funding relief proposal. If left unchecked, this problem could endanger the economic vitality of employers, employees, retirees and their communities. Now, it’s time for both sides of the aisle to work together to ensure that legislation moves forward to result in a bipartisan, bicameral solution,” said Spencer. 

Millions of workers rely on multiemployer pension plans for their retirement security.  However, because of a confluence of events, over one million retirees in some of these plans are in danger of losing benefits because the plans that pay them are on the brink of insolvency.

The insolvency of one plan can negatively impact otherwise health plans because many employers contribute to more than one plan. Furthermore, according to its own projections, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which is the federal insurer of these plans, will become insolvent by 2025.  Without a resolution to this crisis, billions of dollars in retirement benefits will be lost, which will not only severely harm current retirees, but also will inevitably hurt employees, employers and their communities.