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McCollum Statement on Passage of the Butch Lewis Act

July 24, 2019
Press Release
The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (H.R. 397) passed the House with bipartisan support

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, also known as the Butch Lewis Act. H.R. 397 would stabilize multiemployer pension plans by establishing a government-backed loan program to avoid having to drastically cut pensioners’ benefits as well as reducing the unsustainable liabilities of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”).

“Today, the U.S. House passed the Butch Lewis Act to provide much-needed stability for millions of American retirees,” said Congresswoman McCollum. “This federal-backed loan program will prevent cuts to Minnesota pensioners’ hard-earned benefits, while ensuring these pension funds’ long-term sustainability.

“I was proud to cosponsor this legislation and happy to see it pass with bipartisan support in the House. Majority Leader McConnell and the GOP Senate should move as swiftly as possible to pass this common sense legislation to provide American families the retirement stability that they have earned.”

Multiemployer pension plans are made up of employees that have two or more employers in industries such as trucking, construction, and retail. There are currently roughly 10 million Americans that have contributed to the more than over 1,400 multiemployer pension plans across the country. Although many of these plans remain financially solvent, some of them have been forced to cut benefits that were guaranteed to its beneficiaries. One of the largest pension plans facing fiscal insolvency is the Central States Pension Fund which has over 20,000 Minnesotan participants and over 2,000 in the Fourth District of Minnesota alone. 

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