Dear Sisters and Brothers:
SOME GOOD NEWS
A few hours ago President Joe Biden signed the 1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law. This legislation has been long awaited and will provide needed help and assistance to so many who have been impacted by the Covid pandemic.
Also Included within ARP is the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Relief Act. This Act will provide financial relief to multi employer defined benefit plans who are facing insolvency. Good news for approximately 130 Plans that are in critical or declining state, and even better news for the workers, retirees and beneficiaries of these Plans. It ensures that they will continue to receive the full benefits they were promised.
The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust supported this legislation and is enthusiastic with its passage. President Biden and the Congress have finally solved the largest single problem facing the multi-employer defined benefit universe. We are also ecstatic that this version of Butch Lewis did not contain composite legislation--the GROW Act. Congress finally realized that GROW does nothing for troubled Plans and only serves to undermine Plans like ours that are solvent and well funded.
Congratulations to the Central States Pension Fund and the other fifty Teamster Plans that will be eligible for assistance. The achievement was a result of the IBT's efforts, dedicated Local leadership and the hard work of Teamster members and retirees. They were a force to be reckoned with.
While we were successful in keeping GROW out of Butch Lewis again, this is not the time to rest. We fully expect the proponents of GROW to continue their efforts to see it enacted. We must stay organized and on alert.
Thank you to all who stood up and spoke out. Together we have accomplished much and will continue to accomplish more in the future.