December 11,2019

Finance Committee Senators Statement after Briefing on Multiemployer Pension Problems

Washington Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy Chairman Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) issued the following joint statement after Finance Committee members received a bipartisan briefing on the health of multiemployer pensions plans.
“Today’s briefing affirms the concerns we’ve all had about the health of some multiemployer pension plans. More than 100 funds are expected to become insolvent in the next 10 to 20 years, putting the financial security of over one million workers and retirees in jeopardy and hurting our economy by potentially forcing thousands of small businesses to close. It’s a financial crisis stemming from economic shocks, declining membership in some plans, and the so-called orphan liabilities left by employers who withdrew from plans without paying their full share of the liabilities.
“There are hundreds of thousands of Americans whose retirement security is at risk because of these problems. We take the issue very seriously and are working to find a bipartisan solution that puts plans at risk of failure on a secure financial footing and protects the structure that insures them so retirees get the benefits they earned.”
This morning, Senate Finance Committee members were briefed by government experts, including the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)—which is the federal government entity that insures pension plans.