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Letter: Cutting pension benefits will jeopardize retirees

Cutting pension benefits will jeopardize retirees

It was once illegal to cut promised pension benefits. That ended in 2014 when Congress voted to change that. The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act was attached to a must-pass spending bill that President Obama signed. It is now a law that these pension funds can apply to the Treasury Department to reduce benefits if these funds are in trouble. The Treasury Department will decide next month on reducing benefits to retired Teamsters.

These funds are in trouble because the federal agencies that back them up have huge deficits. There are many factors that have caused these deficits, but one reason is the financial crisis of 2008. That’s the same crisis that saw our government bail out the banks.

I know it is complicated, but if the United States can bail out banks, can’t we come up with a financial plan to prop up the pensions of hardworking Americans? Our government has always been able to appropriate funds to avert a national crisis. Cutting pension benefits to potentially millions of Americans to me would be a national crisis.

Bruce E. Stegner