Machinists Union Opposes Proposal to Weaken Multi-Employer Pensions

WASHINGTON – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and a broad coalition of union and retiree groups stand in opposition to a proposal circulating in Congress that would weaken funding standards for multi-employer pensions and dilute protections for workers in new plans.

“This is a thinly-veiled attempt to undermine multi-employer defined benefit plans,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “This flawed proposal would shrink the number of defined benefit plans, and since fewer plans would be paying premiums to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, it would also hurt solvent plans like the Machinists National Pension Fund.”

The legislation being drafted would create so-called “composite plans,” enabling many employers to escape from withdrawal liability and would undermine the retirement security of millions of Americans.

“Retirees will end up with a smaller benefit, all so employers can be freed of pension responsibilities to their workers,” said Martinez. “This flawed deal must be rejected before it hits the floor of Congress. The IAM is ready to work with members of Congress to find a solution that is fair to workers, retirees and employers.”

The IAM is joined in opposition by the AARP, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, National Retirees Legislative Network, Pension Rights Center and United Steelworkers (USW).

The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding, woodworking and other industries. Visit www.goiam.org for more information about the IAM.