IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson is asking active and retired IBEW members to take immediate steps to urge the Senate to reject a disastrous plan circulating in the Senate.
The plan, introduced by Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), is a recipe for the ruin of IBEW multiemployer pension plans, including the National Electrical Benefit Fund.
This plan, formally the Multiemployer Pension Recapitalization and Reform Plan, seeks to reform the multiemployer pension system, which is in crisis due to several large failing plans. The failure of these plans, including Teamsters’ Central States and the Mine Workers’, could threaten the security of the government program created to shore up the pension system, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
“They claim they are trying to help troubled pensions but the truth is that they are trying to kill America’s multiemployer pension plans, including ours,” President Stephenson said in the video message to members.
Stephenson: ‘They are Trying to Kill America’s Multiemployer Pension Plans’
A staffer, left, from Rep. Sean Maloney’s office meets with members of Albany
Local 236 John Mosher, Peter Classen and Mike Mastropietro.
This plan, released November 20, 2019, would:
- Drastically raise fees on healthy pension plans like the NEBF
- Increase the amount of taxes retirees pay on benefits, up to 10 percent
- Turn “green zone” (healthy) plans and into “yellow” or “red” zone (endangered or critical) plans
“In the long run, all of these new fees and taxes would force nearly every pension plan to go broke,” Stephenson said. “It’s the single greatest threat to our retirement security we have ever faced.”
What Can You Do
Make the IBEW’s strong opposition to the Grassley-Alexander plan known to lawmakers by:
- Showing up at official and campaign events
- Scheduling meetings at in-state offices
- Calling Senate offices (844) 551-6921. Scroll down for a sample script. Click here for additional talking points.
- Send a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper
Spread the word on social media. Here’s a graphic to post under #ProtectOurPension.
Click here for messaging guidance.