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  • Your pension is under ATTACK!!
    Updated On: Dec 11, 2019

    Your pension is under ATTACK!!   

    Our defined benefit pension plans (local 531 and NEBF) are some of the most solid in the country.  This proposed legislation will have devastating effects on our pensions as discussed at the last Union Meeting.  Please take the time to do your part in this.  The pension you save may very well be yours!!

    Please take a few minutes to review the information below and "make the call"

    1.  Please Click here to hear IBEW International President Stephenson's short 3 minute message.

    2.  We are also asking that you review the documents attached and either "make the call" to your Senators or make a visit to one of the offices.

    Senator Mike Braun (R)


    115 N. Pennsylvania Street

    Indianapolis, IN 46204

    Tel: 317-822-8240

    Fax: (317) 822-8353

    Fort Wayne

    203 E Berry Street, Suite 702B

    Fort Wayne, IN 46802

    Tel: (260) 427-2164


    5400 Federal Plaza, Suite 3200

    Hammond, IN 46320

    Tel: (219) 937-9650

    South Bend

    205 W. Colfax Ave

    South Bend, IN 46601

    Tel: (574) 288-6302

    Senator Todd Young (R)


    101 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

    Suite 110

    Evansville, IN 47708

    *By Appointment Only


    251 North Illinois Street

    Suite 120

    Indianapolis, IN 46204

    Tel: (317) 226-6700

    Fort Wayne

    1300 South Harrison Street

    Suite 3161

    Fort Wayne, IN 46802

    *By Appointment Only

    New Albany

    3602 Northgate Court

    Suite 15

    New Albany, IN 47150

    Tel: (812) 542-4820

    3. Use this sample template for your Phone Script

    Hello, my name is ________ and I live in _______.

    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, not a 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.

    4. Use these additional talking points

    1.  “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.”

    2.  “This proposal will bankrupt my pension plan.”

    3.  “I already pay payroll taxes on my pension checks, and now the Republicans want to add 10 percent.”

    4.  “This plan would bankrupt my pension plan and then increase my taxes on what’s left.”

    5.  “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.”

    6.  “Just taking back one half of one percent of the 14% tax cut that Trump gave to corporations could fix the entire pension crisis.”

    7.  “Deregulation and bad public policies like bankruptcy law did this. In bankruptcy, everyone gets something except the workers – the law puts us last.”

    8.  “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 a bailout: the government gave more than $700 billion to banks and Wall Street in 2008.”

    9.  “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.”

    10.  “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?”

    11.  “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.” 

    5. Log your meeting notes by clicking HERE.  This is critical so the IBEW can track our efforts to stop this devastating legislation.

    Thank you for your dedication to our industry and protecting our future.  Please see the additional attachments for your education and communication purposes.

  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 531

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