To show solidarity with all retirees, RPEA has written to members of the New York Congressional Delegation urging them to stabilize the multi-employer pension fund crisis affecting our fellow retirees. Many of those retirees were employed in the trucking industry where they had multiple employers. Subsequently, many of those companies merged (or went out of business), and there are an insufficient number of current employees to support the pension system.
RPEA is responding to a bi-partisan “call to action” by John Boehner (former Speaker of the House from Ohio), and Joseph Crowley (former Congressman from Queens, NY). In both a Letter to the Editor in the Albany Times Union, and a letter to the New York Congressional Delegation, RPEA President Jack McPadden stated, “This national emergency must be addressed. If former Reps. Crowley and Boehner can partner in bi-partisan unity to declaim and raise awareness of this calamity, Congress and President Trump can take bi-partisan action.”
The federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, created to protect ‘basic benefits’ earned before a retirement plan’s termination or bankruptcy, is itself underfunded and could leave millions of Americans with a fraction, or none, of their anticipated retirement income. Some of these retirees may have to turn to federal and state assistance for daily living, which will increase the funding needs for welfare programs.
This is not the first time REPA has spoken out to address a pension crisis facing fellow retirees. Earlier this year we supported the plight of St. Clare’s Hospital (Schenectady) retirees who have lost their pensions. Several years ago, we spoke out against the injustice that General Electric retirees faced, when their pensions were terminated.
Our core mission remains the same, namely “to protect, promote, develop and improve the pensions and related income, health benefits and quality of life for all present and future public retirees and their beneficiaries”. That will never change. However, when there is an injustice imposed upon our fellow retirees, through no fault of their own, someone has to speak out. That someone is RPEA.