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Pennsylvania Teamsters Face Pension Cuts

October 28, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—The Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund is the latest multiemployer pension plan to announce that it needs to cut benefits to stay solvent—and Bill Lickert is the one catching the flak. The fund announced in April that it will run out of money in 2028 if it keeps paying benefits at current rates: It’s funded at only 48% of liabilities, and this year, it expects to pay out more than twice the about $54 million in contributions it will receive. Lickert, the 69-year-old former president of Teamsters Local 205, is representing more than 17,000 retirees and other inactive union members participating in the fund. The number of angry phone calls he receives every day has gone from as many as 90 “down to about seven or eight,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I have the same frustration. I was told when I retired, ‘Don’t worry. Your pension is secure.’ I’m going to be cut the same as everyone else.” He expects that fund trustees will submit their proposal to the Treasury Department before next April, and if the department approves it, benefits could be cut late next year.

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October 28, 2017

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