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Wall Street Journal Editorial: Multiemployer Pension Reform Would “Solve a Problem Before it’s a Crisis”

Wall Street Journal Editorial: Multiemployer Pension Reform Would “Solve a Problem Before it’s a Crisis”

Solutions Not Bailouts Proposal’s Inclusion in the Bipartisan “CRomnibus” Will Preserve Retirement Security for 10.5 Million Multiemployer Plan Participants


WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an editorial ahead of Senate consideration, the Wall Street Journal declared the bipartisan multiemployer pension reform proposal something from the “season of miracles,” helping those “desperate for a fix” and that “this looks like a rare case of Congress trying to solve a problem before it’s a crisis.” They also describe it as “A fix for multi-employer plans that doesn’t hit taxpayers. Really.” Their editorial comes with the House of Representatives’ bipartisan passage of the agreement to reform multiemployer pensions based on the labor-business-backed Solutions Not Bailouts proposal. The Journal writes:

It’s the season for miracles. And behold, Congress seems poised to pass a bipartisan compromise as part of its omnibus budget that would mitigate a pension crisis before it requires a taxpayer bailout.

Yes, we were skeptical too. But after reading the fine print, this looks like a rare case of Congress trying to solve a problem before it’s a crisis—to wit, the looming failure of multi-employer pensions.

All of which has concentrated the minds of the smarter union leaders, who joined a coalition with employers to draft a proposal that is the framework for the compromise. Credit also goes to Republican John Kline (Minnesota) and liberal baron George Miller for brokering the deal in Congress.

Click here to read the full editorial.

The Journal weighs in a day after the Washington Post deemed the plan to preserve benefits for the long term “fair and responsible” and “farsighted.” Nationwide, multiemployer pensions have an estimated economic impact of $38 billion annually in local economic activity, job creation and small business growth. There are tens of thousands of contributing employers and about four million retirees who rely on multiemployer pensions for retirement. Many of these plans are in jeopardy and face the potential of insolvency. Making matters worse, the federal backstop for multiemployer pensions is in increasingly precarious financial shape. Solutions Not Bailouts will provide higher ultimate benefit to pensioners than they will receive under existing law if no changes are enacted, it will help troubled plans avoid insolvency, put pension plans recovering from the economic downturn on firmer financial footing, and allow employers to stay in business and continue to participate. It also protects taxpayers by avoiding a massive taxpayer funded bailout that could cost billions.

About the Partnership for Multiemployer Retirement Security: The Partnership for Multiemployer Retirement Security was formed in February 2013 with the release of Solutions not Bailouts: A Comprehensive Plan from Business and Labor to Safeguard Multiemployer Retirement Security, Protect Taxpayers and Spur Economic Growth.” The recommendations in the plan were developed by the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plan’s Retirement Security Review Commission over a period of 18 months.  The Commission studied the challenges facing the multiemployer pension system and designed a series of recommendations that safeguard retirement security and specifically address the challenges facing multiemployer plans. This comprehensive plan from business and labor, if enacted, will ensure that multiemployer plans continue their decades-long mission of providing cost-effective and reliable retirement benefits to millions of working class Americans while protecting taxpayers from risk.  Learn more at:  

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Posted 17:28PM on December 12 2014 by Jessica
Categories: Press Release