Bill would create agency to help pension plans in distress

A bill that would provide financial support for pension plans facing insolvency was introduced in Congress on Tuesday.

The Butch Lewis Act of 2017 (H.R.4444/S.2147), introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), would establish a new agency called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA) within the U.S. Treasury Department. This agency would be authorized to issue bonds to finance loans to pension plans in financial distress.

Re. Peter King (R-NY) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) co-sponsored the bill.

“I am proud to support the Butch Lewis Act and I commend Jim Hoffa for his leadership,” King said at a press conference this week at Teamsters Local 707 in Hempstead, New York. “Protecting retirees who worked hard for their pensions should not be a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats should work together to allow workers to live their retirement years in dignity. It’s time to get started.”

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa thanked King for his support of the bill.

“This legislation is too important to be delayed by partisan politics. The pension crisis must be addressed now, and the Butch Lewis Act is the best option. We must protect the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of active and retired workers across the country,” Hoffa said.