Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, more commonly known as the Butch Lewis Act, to address the nation’s worsening multiemployer pension crisis. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support, praised its passage.

“At least 10,000 workers in Alabama – including Teamsters, steel workers, and mine workers in my district – are at risk of losing the hard-earned benefits they have worked for throughout their lifetimes,” Sewell said. “Many of these workers, including those who spent decades working in our coal mines, risked their lives to provide for themselves and their families. Many sacrificed wage increases throughout their careers to pay into their pension and save for retirement. If we do not act now, an estimated 1.5 million American workers, retirees and their families will suffer as a result. Today’s bill gives us the opportunity to protect American workers’ retirement savings and guarantee pension benefits into the future, preserving financial security for millions.”

Under the proposal, private investors would be able to purchase long-term Treasury bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. A new office within the U.S. Treasury Department, called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA), would administer loans to troubled pension plans using the money from the sale of the long-term bonds. These loans will allow multiemployer pension plans to remain solvent, grow their assets, and pay promised benefits. Additional assistance is also available to those plans that need it.