By the end of this week, the U.S. Treasury will decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of retired and working truck drivers who are facing huge pension cuts.
The Central States Pension Fund provides benefits for about 273,000 union workers from over 1,500 companies, but the vast majority of those workers are truck drivers. The Central States Pension Fund ran into trouble in the 1980’s when trucking was deregulated and now reportedly pays out $3 for every $1 it takes in. The Central States Pension Fund will likely run out of money in the next ten years.
Retired And Current Truck Drivers Could Face Serious Pension Cuts
Previously, failing pension funds have been allowed to reduce benefits for employees who are still working, but they haven’t been allowed to reduce pensions for employees who have already retired.
The U.S. Treasury will issue a ruling by May 7th on whether the Central States Pension Fund is now allowed to slash benefits for the already retired workers — a move that the pension fund advocates insist is necessary to prevent total financial insolvency.
Truckers Brace For Treasury’s Decision
Many of the retired truckers are facing pension cuts of up to 60% as early as July 1.
Under the current proposal, retirees over age 80 would not face any reduction to their pension. Pension cuts would also be less severe for those between 75 and 80 years of age. Widows or widowers receiving spousal benefits would also suffer less severe pension cuts.
Some truck drivers report that if the pension cuts are approved, they’ll have no choice but to keep driving well past retirement age.