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  • Writer's pictureTraci Dority-Shanklin

The Pension Crisis: How We Got Here

The Central States Pension Fund (CSPF) serves 400,000 workers and retirees, but it’s expected to become insolvent by 2025. Before the coronavirus pandemic, 130 plans were projected to run out of money over the next two decades, but now that number threatens to climb even higher. How did we get here? Who’s to blame? Will the new Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress act on much-needed pension reform?

I’m pleased to announce that my next guest on The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds is John Elliot, a partner at New England Pension Consultants and a 2005 recipient of the Taft-Hartley Consultant of the Year by Money Management Letter. John joins me on the podcast to explain how the pension crisis developed and what events led up to the structural problems these plans face.

In this audio clip from The Pension Crisis: How We Got Here only on The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds Podcast, John lays out one of the events that helped damage these struggling plans and resulted in the perfect financial storm:

For a sneak preview of the full episode, click HERE

The “Perfect Storm”

One thing did not cause the structural problems plaguing these plans. Instead, it was a series of legislative blunders coupled with economic downturns these plans could not recovered from. As retired Marco Consulting chairman, Jack Marco, pointed out on the previous podcast, the federal government cut the amortization period for liabilities from 30 to 15 years after the financial meltdown of 2008. This doubled the payments and shortened the payment period which only added more stress to these already troubled plans. It saddens me when I hear members blame leadership for the failings of these plans. The pension crisis did not happen overnight. It’s been 40 years in the making.

I grew up in a union household. My father, Doug Dority, was a labor leader who served as president of UFCW International from 1994 – 2004. Since I was a child, he drilled into my head that “collective bargaining is the foundation and life-blood” of unions, so I understand your fears and concerns.

I created this podcast as a means to help educate and inform labor about the complexities of these multiemployer plans and for us to explore the solutions together to create lasting pension reform. I want to help you understand the issues facing these plans and hold your hand as we talk to experts and search for solutions to save your hard-earned retirement.

I hope you’ll join John Elliot and me for The Pension Crisis: How We Got Here on the next episode of The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds.

About The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds Podcast

Listen to the full podcast with John Elliot on The Pension Crisis: How We Got Here, click HERE

Full podcast episodes of The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds with union and client advocate, Traci Dority-Shanklin, are available on Apple Podcasts, or check out our full library of podcasts.

Join the conversation. Be informed. Be inspired. Be part of the change!

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