Rep. Norcross Announces Funding to Secure Retirement for Over 3,600 New Jersey Transportation Workers
Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) released the following statement in response to use of the multiemployer pensions relief that Congress enacted through the American Rescue Plan. The relief is being used to avert a pension crisis for 3,610 transportation workers in New Jersey, restoring their retirement benefit cuts going forward and making payments to retirees who may have been impacted by previous cuts.
“When you earn a pension after years of hard work, you should be able to rely on that pension when you retire,” said Congressman Norcross. “I’m proud to announce that the American Rescue plan provisions I championed with my Democratic colleagues will save the retirement plan for over 3,000 transportation workers in New Jersey. This investment of $503.9 million into the Teamsters Local 641 Pension Plan will secure a dignified retirement for people who worked hard to earn it.”
“Like so many other Plans, our members have suffered financially since retiring. Through no fault of their own, retirees lost a sizable percentage of their pensions caused by deregulation of the trucking industry and other failed policies that have devastated so many Teamsters’ pension plans. Thanks to the Biden Administration, the American Rescue Plan, and the 219 Democrats who voted for it, our members and retirees can now enjoy the retirement they worked so hard for and deserve with dignity and respect,” said Jim Kilkenny, president of Teamsters Local 641.
“Through the American Rescue Plan, Congressional Democrats and President Biden delivered a historic victory that keeps the promises made to retirees, saves businesses from going under, and shields taxpayers from the even greater cost of a multiemployer pension collapse,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) of the House Education and Labor Committee.
As a union electrician, Congressman Norcross participated in the multiemployer pension system for 37 years. Through no fault of the workers or retirees, many multiemployer pension plans had been on the brink of collapse.
Congressman Norcross was among the four House Democrats to be selected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the special multiemployer pension committee that was created in 2018. In this process, he championed the Butch Lewis Act that passed the Education and Labor Committee and the House in 2019. And it was among his proudest days in Congress when the House passed the American Rescue Plan and President Biden signed it into law. The American Rescue Plan provided over $80 billion to shore up multiemployer pensions.
The American Rescue Plan created the Special Financial Assistance (SFA) Program to avert the immediate multiemployer pensions crisis threatening the retirement security of workers, retirees, and their families. The program protects failing pension plans that were either already insolvent or projected to run out of money this year and restores prior benefit cuts so that retirees are made whole. So far, the SFA program has saved 15,899 pensions and protected more than 250 businesses.