Pres Biden Joins Union Members to Celebrate Multiemployer Pension Bill

In July, President Biden traveled to Ohio to celebrate the most significant effort to protect multiemployer pensions in 50 years.

The Butch Lewis Act was one of the IBEW’s most pressing priorities when President Biden signed it in early 2021. Saving hundreds of plans from insolvency and shoring up the backstop Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, this special assistance program will ensure benefits to multiemployer pension participants through 2051.

“We turned a promise broken into a promise kept,” Joe Biden told a crowd of union workers in Cleveland on July 5. Among those in attendance were more than ten members of the IBEW from Cleveland Local 38 and Lorain Local 129.

Before this law, more than 200 multiemployer plans were heading toward insolvency, endangering up to 3 million retirees and their families at no fault of their own. Now, they will receive their full benefits for the next three decades. It also restores harsh benefit cuts that had already hit approximately 80,000 workers and retirees in multiemployer pensions.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown sponsored the Butch Lewis Act. “You fought for these pensions, you bargained for these pensions, you gave up raises at the bargaining table every three years for these pensions,” Brown said to the union members. “You earned these pensions, period."


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