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Solutions Not Bailouts –

Anytime you have this Congress working together you have to ask yourself why?

Here is the link to the Solution for Multi-employer Pension Reform for your review.

This is the PPA extension/solution.

The PBGC has said for quite a while that approx. 120 multi-employer pension funds have been severely under-funded. How those funds got that way is because of Building Trades Politicians, those now over 60 – not providing the Leadership, and is predominantly the reason why these plans are in trouble.

Men of my generation said almost unanimously for nearly 25 years, starting in the mid 70’s, to PUT THE MONEY ON THE CHECK!! Then after 30 years of not funding thru contributions their own retirement, but near retirement – put almost all new contract money into their retirement. “If” that money had gone forward from that date forward, no problem today. It did not – it went back 20 and even 30 years to pick up past accruals and that was not paid for, until now. Can’t put 3 -5 years of contributions in and expect that money to support 30 years of very rich benefits to be paid. So this younger group of members who are carrying the burden, need to understand a pathway out. Not happening in 85% of those locals.

Enter the Pension Solution Legislation –

The PBGC is the insurance policy that premiums are paid into by all forms of pensions, including our multi-employer funds. Its job is to provide benefits per rules, in the case the pension cannot – even for these multi-employer pension which have self-inflicted under-funding due to politicians running them along with some greed to get more out than they put in.

Once a fund is insolvent the PBGC will pay out approx.30 cents on a dollar up to a maximum. There is a formula and a maximum. The max for most Multi-employer funds that are in this position would be approx., $12,500 for the year vs. what the member expected for 30 and 40 years of service.

The issue here is the PBGC has only 2 Billion in the kitty and would need approx. 50 plus billion to cover the funds that are insolvent, and that is at the .30 cents on the dollar with a max cap.
So…. The PBGC can’t pay this and will in effect default on insuring any level of insolvency – leaving the union members holding the bag.

The PBGC has to get money from Congress to at least cover their portion, and with the Republican’s in firm control, will not let tax payer’s money “bail-out” the agency that is designed to insure against failure.

So when this congress works together to pass this, it is with 2 schools of strategy.

The Democrats – are hoping for a Hail Mary pass to a solution, which has so many moving parts that it is a Hail Mary!

What is ironic is real organizing with increased non-union contractors and work is the solution. However we still, despite all the numbers out there, want to pursue Value on Display and sell. We have to bring the non-anti/union contractors to a CBA regardless if they want to or not, just like our founders did!

The Republicans are signing on knowing/hoping that we are going to not solve the disease but instead keep concentrating on the symptoms thereby extending the real possibility that even more funds will fail. Very sharp cookies.

What this all means is that the PBGC doesn’t have, and can’t get the money needed to provide the relief it’s on the hook for, so this legislation essentially allows for the funds to do what-ever they have to, with what little money may be left in the fund – to say they helped the members – and let the spin begin!

Politicians – especially in the trades have no idea how to solve this – just prolong it a little longer.

Leaders – step forward – Organizing is the solution and quit pussy footing around!

Danny L Caliendo
Labor Rising


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