A group of 25 Teamsters pensioners, including three from Missouri and Kansas, will meet Tuesday in Washington with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about failing pension plans.
Each comes from committees created to fight a proposal last year to slash current retirees’ checks, some by more than half, in an effort to rescue the failing Central States Pension Fund. The effort succeeded in May 2016 when Kenneth Feinberg, a special master appointed by the Treasury, rejected the cuts.
It also left the Central States fund facing failure, along with other critically underfunded and declining multiemployer pension plans.
“We have several solutions that people have come up with,” said Cynthia McDaniel, a director of the Missouri-Kansas City Committee to Protect Pensions who will speak about them at the meeting with Mnuchin. “We don’t want bailouts. We want solutions, and I believe we will find one.”
Tom Schwarzenberger, also with the Missouri-Kansas City committee, will attend the session.
Tuesday’s meeting stemmed in part from a commitment Mnuchin had made to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill during his confirmation hearing in January.
McDaniel said regional and national committee members have been pressing members of Congress for action on faltering multiemployer pension plans and the strained Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. that backs their benefits. She said U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and McCaskill have fought for them.
“She has been a powerful force in this, and this has happened because of her,” McDaniel said of the meeting with Mnuchin.