Worried About “The Cost of Inaction,“ Retired Coal Miners with Pensions at Risk Head to Capitol Hill as Education and Labor Committee Holds Hearing on Growing Pension Crisis
WASHINGTON – On Thurs., March 7, a Congressional hearing on “The Cost of Inaction: Why Congress Must Address the Multiemployer Pension Crisis,” will hear testimony from retirees and employers on growing fears that some of the nation’s largest multiemployer pension plans will soon become insolvent.
Prior to the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions hearing, retired members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania will be meeting with members of Congress and are available for interviews with the media from March 5-7. The miners’ pension plan is one of the most vulnerable due to an unprecedented wave of coal company bankruptcies that have hit the energy sector.
In the last Congress, the Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans failed to come up with a solution to the nation’s pension crisis by the committee’s November deadline. The pension plans of 1.5 million coal miners, truckers, bakery workers and other retirees nationwide are currently on the brink of failure.
But the miners’ pension fund, the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan, will be the first of all these major plans to go insolvent, in the Plan’s 2022-23 fiscal year. There is only one major employer left contributing to the 1974 Plan, and since the coal industry remains in serious economic difficulty, any further industry bankruptcies will cause the fund to collapse.
That is why the miners and their allies in Congress are seeking a Congressional solution through S. 27 and H.R. 935 as soon as possible to preserve the 1974 Plan and the pensions these retirees earned and were promised.
The House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions will hold its Thurs., March 7 hearing in Room 2175 Rayburn HOB at 10:15 a.m.