"The proposed Congressional bailout of union pension funds is outrageous, particularly when you consider that these union run pension funds have failed to take reasonable measures to meet basic solvency requirements."—ALG President Bill Wilson.
May 24th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has sent a letter to 9 House Republicans urging that they withdraw their support from legislation providing a taxpayer bail-out of labor union run pension funds. Among the union pension funds in critical danger are those run by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and more than a hundred other union-run funds.
"We are asking that each Representative remove his or her cosponsorship of this blatant handout to unions, which are now asking the American people to bail them out of their own mismanagement of pensions," Wilson said, adding that "Compensating poor investment strategies, like those pursued by the multi-employer pension plans, only incentives further underfunding of these plans."
According to Wilson's letter to the 9 House Republicans, "While the legislation deals with some challenging issues related to retiree pensions, it is our view that it in fact rewards bad behavior. Those who are asking Congress for this change are largely responsible for the plight of these pension funds, having failed to take the steps to rectify problems that have been looming since well before the stock market drop and recovery over the past two years."
The letter was sent to Representatives Patrick Tiberi, Ginny Brown-Waite, Jo Ann Emerson, Steven LaTourette, John Linder, Thaddeus McCotter, Tim Murphy, Peter Roskam, and Aaron Schock.
Evaluation of a 2009 report by Moody's on the solvency of union run multi-employer pension funds revealed that both the MLBPA and NFLPA funds are only 60 percent funded putting them into the government designated "critically underfunded" category, and major unions like the SEIU, LIUNA and the Teamsters have significant underfunding problems, making them all eligible for a bailout under the legislation.
Labor leaders, like the Teamsters James Hoffa, Jr., have made congressional action on legislation to remove their liability for these pension funds a major priority. Wilson said he was not surprised that Teamster union pension plans litter the list of the most insolvent plans in America.
ALG President Bill Wilson said, "The proposed Congressional bailout of union pension funds is outrageous, particularly when you consider that these union run pension funds have failed to take reasonable measures to meet basic solvency requirements."
"HR 3936 does not require that a union cut benefits, have participants pay part of the pension costs, change retirement ages, limit access to younger employees, or use union dues to supplement the plan. It doesn't require that unions negotiate for higher pension payments from employers in lieu of other benefits. Instead, it merely throws the unfunded liabilities onto the backs of taxpayers – a potential $165 billion dollar bailout," Wilson explained.
Citing the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by labor bosses to support Obama, the Democratic majority, and the 9 House Republicans (see attachments below), Wilson decried unions' "audacity to try to cash in on their political investment by foisting these unfunded liabilities accumulated under their watch onto the backs of taxpayers, who are struggling to fund their own retirements."
The House version of the bill stands in the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, and in the House Ways and Means Committee. The Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on the Senate version of this legislation on May 27th.
Patrick Tiberi PAC donations 2009-10:
Ginny Brown-Waite PAC donations 2009-10:
Jo Ann Emerson PAC donations 2009-10:
Steven LaTourette PAC donations 2009-10:
John Linder PAC donations 2009-10:
Thaddeus McCotter PAC donations 2009-10:
Tim Murphy PAC donations 2009-10:
Peter Roskam PAC donations 2009-10:
Aaron Schock PAC donations 2009-10: