AFTER A LIFETIME OF HARD WORK, we all deserve to retire with dignity. Unions negotiated to provide retirement security for millions of working people, but some pension plans are now at risk.

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lamar Alexander have put forth a proposal that would make the situation much worse, cutting retirees’ benefits and threatening the future of the entire multiemployer pension system.

Working people did not cause this crisis and we should not be penalized because of it. The Grassley-Alexander proposal not only includes big cuts to retirees’ benefits, it also would impose hefty costs that would destabilize healthy multiemployer pension plans.

Call your senators today and urge them to reject the Grassley-Alexander proposal. Tell them to support legislation that will provide retirees with their hard-earned benefits and stabilize the multiemployer pension system overall. Anything less is unacceptable.

CALL 844-551-6921

U.S. Capitol switchboard: 202.224.3121
U.S. Capitol switchboard: (toll-free) 866.338.1015


Hello, my name is _________________ and I live in _________________ county. I am an (active or retired) member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (if appropriate also identify as a veteran). I am calling the Senator to oppose the Grassley-Alexander "Multiemployer Pension Recapitalization and Reform Plan."

This plan would bankrupt my pension plan and increase taxes on what little is left.

When big banks and Wall Street were in trouble, Congress gifted them with a $700 billion bailout 2008. The multiemployer pension system, including the failing plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, could be made whole by taking back just 0.005% (one half of one percent) of the 14-percent corporate tax break passed by Congress in 2017 at a cost of $1.4 trillion.

I (will or already) pay payroll taxes on my pension checks, and now the Republicans want to add 10 percent in additional taxes. The Grassley proposal would also:

  • Drastically increase Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums Create massive new taxes on the wealth of workers
  • Cap the discount rate at 6%, requiring plans to increase contributions and slash benefits.
  • Render our pension system unsustainable and result in government-induced market failure

This proposal is not bipartisan and no part of it is acceptable to me or the IBEW.

Congress needs to focus on finding solutions for failing plans, not devastate mine, which is in good shape. I urge the Senate to pass the bipartisan Butch Lewis Act, (H.R. 397), which passed the House on July 25, 2019, with IBEW support. It is a loan program, bailout.

Butch Lewis is the best current proposal because it does not increase premiums and fees on healthy pension plans to support failing plans.

The Mine Workers are most at risk and need immediate relief. I support the bipartisan American Miners Act (S. 2788).

IBEW members didn't cause this crisis. We have only worked hard and counted on the multiemployer pension system to be there for us and our families in our retirement years. I hope you will stand with your constituents on this issue.

Thank you.

  • Congress should focus on finding solutions to critical and declining plans, not introduce increasing risks to my plan with exorbitant new co-payments for plans and retirees."
  • "This proposal will bankrupt my pension plan."
  • "I already pay payroll taxes on my pension checks, and now the Republicans want to add 10 percent."
  • "This plan would bankrupt my pension plan and then increase my taxes on what's left."
  • "Workers defer wages on the promise of defined benefits being available to them in retirement. Congress should ensure this promise is kept, not promote a plan that would intentionally destroy my plan."
  • Just taking back one half of one percent of the 14% tax cut that Trump gave to corporations could fix the entire pension crisis."
  • "Deregulation and bad public policies like bankruptcy law did this. In bankruptcy, everyone gets something except the workers - the law puts us last."
  • "We have compromised on legislation to fix this crisis. The Butch Lewis Act is a loan program, not a bailout. When corporations are in trouble, they do get bailout: the government gave more than $700 billion to banks and Wall Street in 2008."
  • "IBEW members didn't cause this crisis. We have worked hard, paid for our pensions and counted on the multiemployer pension system to be there for us and our families in our retirement years."
  • "Why should the only way to assist struggling multiemployer pension plans be at the expense of healthy ones. This is clearly designed to be punitive toward retirees?"
  • "Composite plan structures are not pensions. Like the rest of the Grassley plan, this provision would shift risk to individual retirees and increase the likelihood that the multi-employer defined benefit system will collapse."

Oppose the Grassley-Alexander Proposal !!!!

Brothers and Sisters:

The IBEW needs your help. Senate Republicans are readying a radical plan to raise taxes on retiree pension benefits and put catastrophic burdens on union retirement plans, according to documents released last month.

Under cover of a “rescue” for a few endangered multi-employer pensions primarily troubled Mineworkers and Teamsters plans – Senate Republicans are preparing to raise taxes on all retiree pension benefits by nearly 10% and raise expenses on healthy plans by 500%. The sweeping changes would almost guarantee reduction of benefits for millions of union retirees, IBEW members included.

International President Lonnie R. Stephenson is calling on every IBEW member to immediately contact their senators, whatever their party, and demand they kill the Grassley-Alexander Plan before it’s even filed as legislation.

Thank you for your assistance Brothers & Sisters. It is appreciated!

Alan Marzullo
Card # 869954

Please use the three links above to make your voice heard.


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