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Biden releasing nearly $36B to aid pensions of union workers

by The Associated Press | December 8, 2022 at 11:04 a.m.
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks after touring the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company facility in Phoenix, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

President Joe Biden on Thursday is set to announce the infusion of nearly $36 billion to shore up a financially troubled union pension plan, preventing severe cuts to the retirement incomes of more than 350,000 Teamster workers and retirees across the United States.

The money for the Central States Pension Fund is the largest amount of federal aid provided for a pension plan, the Biden administration said, and comes from the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that he signed into law in 2021.

Many union retirement plans have been under financial pressure because of underfunding and other issues. Without the federal assistance, Teamster members could have seen their benefits reduced by an average of 60% starting within a couple of years.

Multiemployer pension funds are created by agreements between unions and companies and are partially insured by the federal government's Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The insurance program was on track to become insolvent in 2026, but the pandemic relief money is expected to keep it on firm footing through 2051.

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