Politicians want to increase taxes on your pension by 10%!

Urge your Senator to 'just say NO' to the Grassley-Alexander proposal!

 


Brothers and Sisters,
       By establishing Local 1’s primary pension plan as a defined-contribution type our predecessors protected us from the attacks currently being waged in the halls of Congress against defined-benefit type plans. But many of us are also participants in the National Electrical Benefit Fund (NEBF) and the Pension Benefit Fund (PBF) established by our International office in PensiongraphicWashington, DC, and these plans are under attack!  

Simply stated, under a defined-contribution plan like Local 1’s Pension Benefit Trust Fund (PBTF), your employer contributes hourly into an individual account that has been established for you. You then have the option to redistribute these funds to one of ten investment options. You get to watch your pension grow!

Under a defined-benefit type plan, employer contributions are pooled, and your benefit amount is calculated using a specific formula established at plan origination. Rather than watch your individual account grow you are notified of the aggregate funding level of the plan. In this case fund managers attempt to balance contributions and revenues generated from plan investments with disbursements. It is easy to see how these plans, if mismanaged, can become insolvent. I am proud of the fact that the defined-benefit plans established by our International office are among the healthiest in the nation. Unfortunately, two Republican Senators in Washington want to sacrifice the health of our plan to save other, mismanaged plans. We need your help and we need it NOW!  

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lamar Alexander have put forth a proposal that would make the situation much worse, cutting retirees’ benefits and threatening the future of the entire multiemployer pension system.

Working people did not cause this crisis and we should not be penalized because of it. The Grassley-Alexander proposal not only includes big cuts to retirees’ benefits, it also would impose hefty costs that would destabilize healthy multiemployer pension plans.

Call your senators today and urge them to reject the Grassley-Alexander proposal. Tell them to support legislation that will provide retirees with their hard-earned benefits and stabilize the multiemployer pension system overall. Anything less is unacceptable.

We have added a sample phone script for you below and the contact information for the Senators from Missouri! This is so important that we are asking ALL of you to call our job reporting hotline at (314) 932-6528 and leave us a voicemail confirming that you have stepped up to help us fight against this attack! 

Please watch this message from International President Lonnie Stephenson!

ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES – THESE PEOPLE WANT TO TAX YOUR PENSION!!!!! 

In Solidarity,
Frank D. Jacobs
Business Manager
IBEW Local 1
St. Louis, Missouri

U.S. Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121
U.S. Capitol switchboard toll-free: (866) 338-1015  

Below is the contact information the Senators from Missouri:  
Blunt, Roy - (R - MO)
Class III
260 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5721
Contact: www.blunt.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-roy

Hawley, Josh - (R - MO)
Class I
212 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6154
Contact: www.hawley.senate.gov/contact-senator-hawley

 SAMPLE TELEPHONE SCRIPT

 Hello, my name is ________ and I live in _______.  

I am an (active or retired) member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 (if appropriate also identify as a veteran). I am calling the Senator to oppose the Grassley-Alexander “Multiemployer Pension Recapitalization and Reform Plan.” 

This plan would bankrupt my pension plan and increase taxes on what little is left. 

When big banks and Wall Street were in trouble, Congress gifted them with a $700 billion bailout 2008. The multiemployer pension system, including the failing plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, could be made whole by taking back just 0.005 (one half of one percent) of the 14-percent corporate tax break passed by Congress in 2017 at a cost of $1.4 trillion. 

I (will or already) pay payroll taxes on my pension checks, and now the Republicans want to add 10 percent in additional taxes. The Grassley proposal would also:
• Drastically increase Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums
• Create massive new taxes on the wealth of workers
• Cap the discount rate at 6%, requiring plans to increase contributions and slash benefits. 
• Render our pension system unsustainable and result in government-induced market failure 

This proposal is not bipartisan and no part of it is acceptable to me or the IBEW. 

Congress needs to focus on finding solutions for failing plans, not devastate mine, which is in good shape. I urge the Senate to pass the bipartisan Butch Lewis Act, (H.R. 397), which passed the House on July 25, 2019, with IBEW support. It is a loan program, not a bailout. 

Butch Lewis is the best current proposal because it does not increase premiums and fees on healthy pension plans to support failing plans.  

The Mine Workers are most at risk and need immediate relief. I support the bipartisan American Miners Act (S. 2788).  

IBEW members didn’t cause this crisis. We have only worked hard and counted on the multiemployer pension system to be there for us and our families in our retirement years.  I hope you will stand with your constituents on this issue.

Thank you.