To the Editor:
So suddenly we are reading reports in the news that Congress is hatching a “lame duck sneak attack” to keep multiemployer pensions solvent by cutting current retirees’ pensions. The precise language of this last-minute political deal still has not been made public, as elected officials are working behind closed doors. There have been no public meetings or opportunity for public comment. The goals by those behind this appear to involve adding such a provision in the last week of the Congress on an unamendable must-pass government funding bill.
The proposal would change pension law and allow some underfunded pension plans to cut the earned pension benefits of retirees, including retirees already receiving benefits, something not currently permitted under the law. Retirees who worked a lifetime to earn their pension benefits and would be financially devastated by pension cuts.
A long-term solution is needed, but it should be debated openly. Ultimately, any changes in pension law should be fair to all parties - not putting all the pain on retirees who did not create the problem and cannot undo the damage.
Everyone should contact their Member of Congress today, and tell them to stop this secret maneuver now.
Brian McGuire, Associate State Director, AARP New Jersey