NEW POLL: 3 in 4 Voters Say Congress Can’t Wait to Act and an Urgent Solution to the Multiemployer Pension Crisis is Needed

Source: Retirement Security Coalition

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New Data Shows Overwhelming Support for “Shared Solution” to Protect Retirees and Workers

WASHINGTON, DC – The Retirement Security Coalition (RSC) today released a bipartisan survey that found 3 in 4 voters (74.5%) believe that Congress cannot afford to wait to address today’s multiemployer pension crisis. According to the polling, there is broad voter recognition that changes are urgently needed to protect the millions of hardworking American miners, bakers, truck drivers, and musicians whose retirement plans are running out of money through no fault of their own.

In addition to voter recognition of the crisis, the poll’s findings indicate strong support for a comprehensive solution and bipartisan agreement. Specifically, the poll shows broad voter support (71.6%) for a “shared solution” approach that includes additional employer and retiree support, as well as government assistance.

“Voters recognize there is a very urgent need – and widespread support – for meaningful, bipartisan action to find a shared solution that protects the retirement futures of the millions of truck drivers, coal miners, bakers, musicians, and grocery workers who are at risk of losing their retirement benefits entirely,” said RSC Co-Chair Former Speaker John Boehner. “This poll confirms what we already know: Inaction is not an option, and Americans can’t afford to wait any longer for a solution. These hardworking Americans could lose nearly all of their retirement savings – benefits they have earned, and the collapse of the multiemployer system would send shockwaves through our economy.”

The survey results show:

– Broad voter agreement (92%) that protecting American retirees’ and workers’ retirement savings is essential to our economy.

– Voters overwhelmingly agree (77%) that multiemployer pension plans are in crisis.

– Three-quarters of voters (75%) recognize the urgency and need for Congress to take action.

– Eight in 10 voters (82%) agree there is no simple solution and all parties involved will have to come together to find a long-lasting shared solution.

– Voters strongly support (71.6%) Congress taking action through a comprehensive shared solution that includes additional employer support, government assistance and additional retiree support.

The poll’s findings come at a time when the largest troubled multiemployer pension plan in the country, the Central States Pension Fund, is on the trajectory to collapse by 2025. The Central States Pension Fund’s collapse would directly affect approximately 400,000 people and lead to the elimination of billions in retirement dollars and tens of thousands of jobs. To make matters worse – the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the backstop left to support the collapsing plans, released a report earlier this week saying it reached a “record” $65.2 billion deficit in September. The PBGC is expected to dry up by 2025, further elevating the severity of the threat and potential consequences for failing plans.

“The effects of today’s crisis are real – thousands of people nationwide have already faced severe cuts to the retirement benefits they depend on to support their families. For example, in New York, some retirees belonging to the Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund now get less than half of the benefits they have earned — as little as $570 a month,” said RSC Co-Chair and Former Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Joe Crowley. “At a time when Washington, D.C. finds itself politically polarized on many issues, it’s clear from this data that the multiemployer pension crisis is an issue that both sides can agree on – the threat to America’s retirees is imminent and must be addressed.”

To gauge public awareness and sentiment around multiemployer pension plans and their impending collapse, RSC commissioned a bipartisan poll among 2,700 likely voters in key states affected by the multiemployer pension crisis. The poll was conducted online from October 12-22 by Global Strategy Group (GSG) and McLaughlin & Associates.

For more information about the poll, please contact press@retirementsecuritycoalition.com.

About the Retirement Security Coalition:

Comprised of a diverse group of employers, labor unions, and policy experts dedicated to finding a common-ground solution to the multiemployer pension crisis, the Retirement Security Coalition is urging a bipartisan compromise to reinvigorate the multiemployer pension plan system in America. To learn more about the Coalition’s efforts to protect millions of Americans’ hard-earned retirement futures, please visit www.RetirementSecurityCoalition.com.

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