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Legislative Updates

House passes Butch Lewis Act to fix multiemployer pension plans

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 397, known as the “Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019,” also known as the “Butch Lewis Act.” Introduced by Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), the bill would create a loan program to stabilize failing multiemployer plans in order to avoid a potential pension crisis and ensure the commitments made to retirees and workers will be met.

While this bill does not directly impact letter carriers, it is a significant piece of legislation and an important win for the broader labor community. Nearly 10 million Americans participate in multiemployer plans and some 1.3 million are in plans that are exhausting their funds, thereby placing workers in potential financial instability for their retirement.

“With 1.3 million workers and retirees in multiemployer plans that are quickly running out of money, we are in the midst of a crisis,” said Chairman Neal. “The Butch Lewis Act is the first piece of legislation I introduced as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee precisely because of the urgency of this problem. Now, after years of inaction, Congress has finally made progress to protect hardworking Americans who planned for their retirements, forgoing pay raises to save for their futures.”

H.R. 397 passed the House in a 262-169 vote with 29 Republicans joining the entire Democratic delegation in support of the legislation. Earlier that day, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) along with 25 Democratic colleagues and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reintroduced the bill in the Senate (S. 2254).

NALC will monitor the progression of the bill in the Senate and keep letter carriers informed on this important issue to the broader labor community.

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