04.18.16

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Stands Up for Workers and Retirees, Demands Treasury Department Reject Deep Pension Cuts

Joins Wisconsinites in calling for rejection of Central States Pension Fund application to destroy retirement security for working families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has called on the U.S. Treasury Department to reject the proposed cuts to the Central States Pension Fund. If the Treasury Department approves the Central States application to reduce benefits, 25,000 Wisconsinites will face deep cuts in the pensions they have earned over a lifetime of work.

“I believe that hardworking people who build their future should never have to doubt their retirement security,” said Senator Baldwin. “I have heard the stories from Wisconsinites who worked hard, played by the rules and now face financial ruin if these retirement cuts are implemented. We need to ensure families receive the full amount of benefits they have worked for, planned for and depend on. ‎I call on the Treasury Department to reject this application to cut pensions."

On Friday, Senator Baldwin joined every member of the Democratic caucus in sending a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew regarding Central States Pension Fund’s application to reduce its participants’ pension benefits. The Senators noted that the Treasury Department’s decision with regard to the application will have enormous stakes for the 270,000 retirees in the plan who face potential cuts, with a significant number of those retirees facing cuts of 50 percent and, in some cases, more than 70 percent of their monthly pension.

“This comes at a time when workers, retirees, and surviving spouses across the country are worried about the state of their pensions,” the Senators wrote. “They contributed to their pensions over the course of many years – making the sacrifices of giving up better pay or improved benefits, or even staying in a physically exhausting job that took them away from their families – so they could earn a pension that they believed could never be taken away.”

In February, Senator Baldwin wrote to the Treasury Department urging that pension benefits be protected‎. In a letter to Special Master for Implementation, Kenneth Feinberg – who is tasked with overseeing applications of proposed benefit cuts – Senator Baldwin asked him to ensure that these promises are kept to their fullest potential.

Senator Baldwin is an original cosponsor of the Keep Our Pensions Promises Act – a bill to reverse deep pension cuts for retirees and workers in multi-employer pension plans. The Keep Our Pension Promises Act will protect the pensions of up to 10 million Americans and is paid for by eliminating a loophole in the estate tax and a tax break on sales of expensive art and other collectibles.