The closer Doug Kamerer got to retirement, the more he feared he would never be able to pay.
Kamerer is stable accumulate pensions during his 35 years as a valuation job at Etched Metal Company in Solon, Ohio, where he and his colleagues generally accepted lower wage increases in return for their company’s contributions to multi-person pension fund.
But that fund started to fail years ago, and if it did, Kamerer knew that he and his wife, Toni, would have to spend their senior years just trying to make money.
All those worries vanished when President Joe Biden signed one historical stimulus package March 11, that will not only get the US out of the COVID-19 recession, but also help secure the nation’s future.
Biden and members of Congressional Democrats have vowed to put those working first, and they deliver on that promise with legislation addressing the pain and uncertainty that the pandemic has inflicted on the nation.
The $ 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan delivers one of the boldest, most comprehensive investments in people at work since the New 1930s Agreement and the United Steelworkers (USW) did working with other labor unions to secure Congress through it.
And just as the New Agreement stabilizes a country in crisis and promotes prosperity, the stimulus bill will strengthen America for many years to come.
Package extend unemployment benefits to 300 dollars a week and health insurance for workers laid off in the COVID-19 recession, providing $ 1,400 stimulus checks and tax credits to millions of struggling families, accumulation funds to help schools operate safely. and allocating billions of dollars to control coronavirus.
But it is not enough to cope with current difficulties. It is also necessary to confront imminent threats to the nation’s progress.
That is why stimulus includes 86 billion dollars to stabilize about 130 multi-person and pension funds ensure the retirement of 1.3 million workers and retireesThese include Kamerer, a member of USW Local 1-243, who has signed up on a plan that could be disrupted for a decade.
“The number is huge,” said Kamerer, who hopes to retire in four years, of pension support. “That is a good news. What a load of weight on my mind ”.
Multi-participant pension plans combine contributions from two or more employers in sectors such as manufacturing, retail, truck driving, and entertainment. Companies pay these funds as part of their employees’ benefits and salaries package and promise to pay retirees a pension based on their salary and years of service.
Although many of the 1,400 multi-user plans across the country are still financially stable, about 130 people are accelerating to insolvency because of factors such as corporate bankruptcyindustry consolidation and investment losses.
COVID-19 economic depression Putting these plans at risk more deeply, threatening the workers’ future has struggled because of the economic recession as well as those who have put their lives to keep the nation afloat during the pandemic. Kamerer is among those who report the work every day while millions of other Americans do their jobs remotely.
“This is our money,” noted Kamerer, a former local trade union official who helped negotiate contracts in which he and his colleagues sacrificed salary increases to receive retirement benefits. knowledge they will receive for many years. “This is part of our compensation package. It is important that it is understood. “
If the plan falls apart, employees and retirees will almost lose everything They spent decades building. And a country has gone through Unemployment and poverty skyrocketed during the pandemic unable to let still many citizens be eliminated from their feet.
The USW and other unions first rang alarm bells about failure of the multi-personality pension plan years ago – and has been fighting to save them ever since.
Jim Allen, a retired Appleton Papers worker and president of USW Local 266, whose survival depends on his pensions, was among the many union members who staged the demonstrations. Congress and testifies in favor of the law to save the plans.
Franklin, Ohio, residents and other backers won a share last year when the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed Butch Lewis Act– named for a deceased union member who won the championship in retirement security – to accumulate funds. But the Republican-controlled Senate even refused to consider the law, leaving Allen and other pension program participants more concerned about their futures.
“We not only hope but also have to pray every day that they will finally wake up and do something about it,” Allen said.
Republicans never did, and when the pandemic hit, these plans take one more blow when companies lay off workers and reduce payments to the fund.
But Biden and congressional Democrats, who gained control of the Senate after the last election, have been working with organized labor to ensure pensions become an integral part of national recovery. When he signed the stimulus into law, Biden said The law will give “those who have made merit to build the country” a “fighting chance”.
While his pension is still in balance, Kamerer hesitates to think too much about his golden years.
Now he is one of the millions of Americans who can look to the future with the hope of a stimulus that can heal the country and build prosperity.
Kamerer, who plans to travel with his wife and spend more time with his family during his retirement, said: “Everyone is in pain. “They don’t need to worry about the future any more.”
*This article is produced by Independent media institute.