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Central States Pension Fund cuts will be the subject of Kansas City public session

A Kansas City rally in November protested plans to cut pensions by 50 percent and more for many of those covered by the Central States Pension Fund.
A Kansas City rally in November protested plans to cut pensions by 50 percent and more for many of those covered by the Central States Pension Fund. tjungblad@kcstar.com

The U.S. Treasury is holding a public session in Kansas City next Tuesday on a proposal to slash the pensions of thousands of retired union workers.

Pension cuts of 50 percent and more would hit many of those covered by the Central States Pension Fund. The cuts are part of the fund’s plan, possible under a 2014 federal law, to deal with a severe shortfall in its finances.

The Treasury’s session will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Ballroom 2501 CD of the Kansas City Convention Center at 301 W. 13th St.

It will be the last public session before the Treasury makes a ruling on the pension fund’s plan and the participants and beneficiaries of the plan vote on the proposal.

The crumbling Central States Pension Plan says it is going to cut members' pension checks, many by half or more. These Teamster retirees protested the planned cuts Wednesday in Kansas City. (Video by Mark Davis The Kansas City Star Nov. 19, 2015)

During the two-hour session, mediator Kenneth Feinberg will hear comments from the public. Feinberg was appointed special master under the federal law that allows the Central States fund to seek the dramatic benefit cuts that it says are needed to allow the strapped fund to survive.

Those who would like to attend are asked to register online.

Sessions in eight other cities attracted a few hundred people, although meetings in Detroit and Minneapolis topped 700, a Treasury spokesman said.

Local retirees covered by the pension and members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have protested the severe cuts.

Mark Davis: 816-234-4372, @mdkcstar

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