Call your Representatives and urge them to support the Butch Lewis Act

The “Butch Lewis Act of 2017” and its House companion bill “The Rehabilitation of Multiemployer Pensions Act”  provide an innovative way to avoid retiree benefit reductions by providing relief to financially-troubled plans.

These bills set up a new office in the Treasury Department called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA), which would receive proceeds from the issuance of Treasury bonds. This money would then be lent to financially-troubled plans as long as they meet certain criteria. The Pension Rights Center is particularly pleased that the loans would be used to fully pay the benefits of retirees and that the bill would require plans, which have already been approved to cut benefits under MPRA, to apply for these new loans and if approved, use that money to restore previously suspended benefits. You can read more about this important legislation here.

TAKE ACTION

We’re asking all plan participants to contact your Senators and House Representatives plus four additional members whose position makes them critically important. Lamar Alexander (chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee), Virginia Foxx (chairwoman of the House Education and Workforce Committee), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
   
Below we have included links to make it easier to find your Senators and Representatives. In addition, we have included email addresses for Legislative aides and staffers for “The Big Four”.
 
 
 
To find your Senator, follow the instructions at:
https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
 
To find your Congressional Representative, follow the instructions at:
https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
 
 
To reach Senator Lamar Alexander:
https://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email
and email Alexander’s staff:
Chief of Staff: David Cleary David_Cleary@alexander.senate.gov
Pension Legislative aide: Andy Banducci andy_banducci@help.senate.gov
 
To reach Virginia Foxx, email her staff at:
Chief of Staff    Cyrus.Artz@mail.house.gov
Pension LA    david.voorman@mail.house.gov
 
To reach Paul Ryandanyell.tremmel@mail.house.gov
 
To reach Mitch McConnell:
Chief of Staff:  Philip_Maxson@McConnell.senate.gov
Pension LA:     Elizabeth_Strimer@McConnell.senate.gov
 
Suggested message:

I am writing regarding the looming Multi-Employer Pension crisis. The current MPRA law is unjust and unfair. For the first time since 1974 MPRA allows trustees to make severe cuts to our hard-earned existing benefits without giving us the ones affected any say. MPRA will throw millions of American workers into poverty (and onto Public Assistance), while simultaneously devastating the broader economy.
The Butch Lewis Act creates a way for troubled pension funds to return to solvency without punishing current and future retirees.  It does so without raising anyone’s taxes or eliminating anyone’s favorite deductions. It is reasonable and fair. I urge you to support this legislation.
   
This crisis is real and coming fast.  Please support the Butch Lewis Act.