house resolution no.56

Reps. Robinson, Marino, Elder, Koleszar, Tate, Coleman, Brenda Carter, Tyrone Carter, Neeley, Garza, Liberati, Guerra, Manoogian, Bellino, LaFave, Mueller, Hammoud, Camilleri, Bolden, Haadsma, Warren, Gay-Dagnogo, Hertel, Sowerby, Sneller, Wittenberg, Sabo, Shannon, Lasinski, Rabhi, Jones, Kennedy, Whitsett, Cherry, Brixie, Yancey, Markkanen and Love offered the following resolution:

A resolution to urge the Congress of the United States to consider legislation or other reforms to help stabilize distressed multiemployer pension systems.

Whereas, Pensions are a leading source of income for retired Michiganders. According to Michigan's Department of Treasury, in recent years, pension and annuity distributions made up more than 33 percent of a retiree's income. For these individuals, Social Security income accounted for less than half of that amount—15 percent—of their income in the same period. Across the nation, it is estimated that more than 30 percent of American retirees have secured their retirement with defined benefit retirement plans; and

Whereas, Defined benefit plans, particularly multiemployer plans, are credited with keeping millions of industrial and post-industrial American laborers from poverty's reach, but these systems are coming under increased financial strain and could collapse. Of the 10 million Americans with multiemployer plans, about 1.5 million are members of a plan considered to be in serious financial jeopardy. If these plans collapse, a significant portion of their income will evaporate, and through no fault of their own, members who made pension contributions for decades in exchange for security in retirement will no longer receive the benefits they were promised; and

Whereas, Federal legislation that could stabilize distressed multiemployer pension systems may be necessary for the long-term well-being of plan members. The Congress of the United States should take the solvency of these pension plans seriously and investigate ways to stabilize distressed multiemployer pension plans; and

Whereas, The national debt has doubled in the last decade and increased pressure has been placed on the Social Security Trust Fund. To secure a healthy retirement for retirees and a prosperous future for their children, these issues need to be addressed alongside multiemployer pension systems; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge the Congress of the United States to consider legislation or other reforms to help stabilize distressed multiemployer pension systems; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.