Gallagher Leads Letter on Multiemployer Pension Crisis

March 21, 2018
Press Release
Calls for Action to Protect Wisconsin Retirees & Taxpayers

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher led a group of his colleagues in a letter to the newly formed Joint Select Committee on Multiemployer Pension Solvency, urging the committee to find a fiscally responsible solution to the impending multiemployer pension crisis. According to the most recent report, the multiemployer pension program is expected to be insolvent by 2025. As a result, over 10 million Americans and thousands of Wisconsinites will receive benefits significantly lower than their promised amounts.

Rep. Gallagher said, “I am deeply concerned with how this insolvency crisis will impact the thousands of Wisconsinites who are depending on their pensions for retirement. This is why I’m urging the committee to take swift action and find a fiscally responsible solution that does right by our seniors and keeps the promises made to them.”

Below is a copy of the letter.

March 19, 2018         

Dear Co-Chairmen Hatch and Brown:

Congratulations on your selection as the Co-Chairmen to the Joint Select Committee on Multiemployer Pension Solvency. The responsibilities assigned to this committee are significant and your leadership will be integral in achieving success. We look forward to the solutions your committee will put forth to address the substantial issues facing pensioners in our districts.

As you begin your work on the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, we write to express our serious concerns over the multi-employer pension crisis. According to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) FY2017 annual report, the PBGC Multiemployer Program is expected to be insolvent by 2025. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the next 20 years, there will be a $34 billion shortfall between financial assistance claims filed with the multiemployer program and the cash resources available to pay the claims. As a result, millions of Americans will receive benefits significantly lower than their promised amounts. We urge the committee to create a necessary and fiscally responsible solution to this crisis affecting over 10 million Americans.

We believe the promises many hard-working Americans based their lives on should be kept as best as possible, and we have many concerns about the personal impacts this pension crisis will have on our constituents. It is our hope that the committee will craft a solution to this problem that addresses the shortcomings of the pension systems and the solvency of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. We also urge the committee to structure the proposed reforms to the system so they will ensure accountability and avoid future crises. We believe a fiscally responsible solution that makes significant improvements to these ends will benefit not only current retirees but also future seniors that will depend on these pensions for their retirement. 

As you work towards creating a solution, please do not hesitate to reach out should you need any input or assistance. We look forward to reviewing the legislative language from the committee on or before November 30, 2018, and thank you for your hard work and attention to this matter.

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