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24,000 Retirees See Pensions Restored Through Biden’s American Rescue Plan

WASHINGTON – Today, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced the approval of the CWA/ITU Negotiated Pension Plan’s application for special financial assistance, ensuring that more than 24,000 workers and retirees will receive the full pension benefits that they earned through a lifetime of work.

PBGC will award over $545 million to the CWA/ITU Negotiated Pension Plan, which has nearly 24,300 participants nationwide. Without this grant, the plan was projected to become insolvent by 2029, destroying the retirement security of hard-working union members represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

“Today’s announcement ensures that, for over 24,000 hard-working people, their retirements will be protected as promised,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Ameenah Salaam. “It also reminds us why the PBGC’s guarantees are so important. We know that many companies want to do anything and everything they can to save a buck, no matter what the consequences for their workers. That’s why CWA and our union brothers, sisters, and family fight so hard to make sure that our benefits are protected.”

“If it weren’t for President Biden and worker champions in Congress like Congressman Norcross and Senator Sherrod Brown, the Butch Lewis Act would have never been enacted, and thousands of our retirees would have started facing significant cuts in their benefits in just a few short years,” said Dennis Trainor, CWA District 1 Vice President. “This is what our government is all about—making sure that hard-working people don’t fall through the cracks all due to some economic circumstances they had no control over.”

The Butch Lewis Act, passed in 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan, allows the U.S. Treasury to provide financial assistance to severely underfunded multiemployer pension plans to ensure retirees receive the entirety of their earned pension benefits. These plans are often in crisis due to factors beyond the plan’s control. Pension benefits are a form of delayed compensation that union members negotiate as part of their union contract, often trading higher wages or raises for retirement benefits.


About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields. @cwaunion

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