CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – On Friday, the US Department of Treasury rejected a plan that would reduce monthly pensions for 270,000 retired Teamsters.
In October of 2015, workers received letters from the Central States Pension Fund informing them of the cuts that were supposed to come in July.
Bruce Kirkland, of Canfield, has been a Teamster member for 40 years. The 77-year-old says his pension is a main source of income.
“My wife and I, this is what we live on. Our social security and pension.”
He’s been following the plan for pension cuts since 2006, when the legislation was introduced. In fact, he has a copy of the entire bill in a binder at home.
“Approximately, in my case, with my age factor and my 38.2 credits, I will be losing $640 a month.”
Pension fund managers said the cuts are necessary because there is only one Teamster paying into the fund for every five retirees. Without the changes, the fund will be out of money in ten years.
Kirkland sends out information packets across the country to others teamsters, keeping them up to date with what’s happening. He says this isn’t just about him though; it’s about all the teamsters across the states.
“There’s guys that are going to be in a lot worse shape. These guys are getting cut 40, 50, 60 percent of their pension.”
Senator Sherrod Brown thanked the Department of Treasury, and said they need to look to the future.
“While we celebrate today’s decision, we must also look toward a comprehensive solution that will save Central States and keep the promise to our retirees,” Brown said.
No solutions to Central States’ problem have been proposed, meaning the pension fund is still running out of money.
Friday’s ruling does not mean the Teamsters’ fight is over because Central States is able to resubmit a new plan.