IBEW Political/Legislative
Affairs Department

   

 An IBEW delegation visited Capitol Hill in late November to defend healthy multiemployer pension plans.        


I am a Retiree and I Vote: Keep Your Hands off My Pension

An all-hands-on-deck IBEW mobilization followed the urgent appeal: your pension is at risk. Come to Washington, D.C., to defend it.

On November 28, 2018 approximately 250 IBEW members from across the United States carried the simple message to Capitol Hill: say no to a circulating proposal that could decimate IBEW’s multiemployer pension plans like the NEBF.

“Keep your hands off my pension,” they said, in hundreds of face-to-face meetings with staff and members of the Senate and the House of Representatives on less than a week’s notice.

They wore blue IBEW shirts and carried letters from IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson that said burdensome funding rule requirements for healthy multiemployer pension plans are not the answer to helping failing plans and suggesting a low-interest loan program instead.

In person and in writing, the IBEW delegation warned against excessive fees and onerous taxes on pension plans and urged Congress to remember that workers and retirees put a lifetime of work into their pensions and reminded them of their obligation to protect families and communities from financial ruin.        

And a day after IBEW members stormed Capitol Hill, the committee drafting the proposal announced it was unable to make a recommendation.   

Score one for the IBEW. But we are not done. Some or all of this damaging proposal could be released as legislation at any time.

That is why we are asking IBEW retirees to follow up the in-person mobilization with postcards or a handwritten letter to members of Congress. A handwritten note is the most powerful mail a member can receive. 

Here’s some suggested language for postcards to members of Congress:

 

Dear Representative/Senator:

After __­ years of work, I rely on my monthly pension. It is a promise negotiated by my union, the IBEW, and my employer. I know some multiemployer pensions are in trouble, but Congress cannot fix this problem by ruining healthy plans. If you tax my pension, raise premiums and force burdensome requirements on my plan, my family and I will suffer.

Keep your hands off my pension. Remember: I vote and I am following this issue.

Respectfully,

IBEW Member
[Name and address]

             

Norfolk, Va., Local 80 Business Manager Dennis Floyd approaches
the Capitol for pension lobby day.
             

An IBEW member reviews briefing materials before congressional meetings.

If you don’t know who your member of Congress is, you can enter your zip code to find out here

Also, please note:

  • Feel free to include other information in your postcard using information from the letters or fact sheets linked above. Write a letter if you need more space.
  • Signing your name and including your address is vital, so that your member knows that you are a constituent
  • Consider attending a town hall meeting with your member of Congress to highlight the issue.