30% cut in pen­sions for N.Y.’s Team­sters

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY GIN­GER ADAMS OTIS With News Wire Ser­vices

PEN­SION PAY­OUTS to re­tired Team­sters in New York will be cut by roughly 30% start­ing next month.

The Dra­co­nian move is a last-ditch ef­fort to keep the New York State Team­sters Con­fer­ence Pen­sion and Re­tire­ment Fund sol­vent — and it was taken fol­low­ing a vote among its 34,000 mem­bers.

The Team­sters fund cov­ers nine lo­cal unions, mostly in up­state New York.

The av­er­age cut for those who re­tired with 30 years of ser­vice will be about $2,000 — tak­ing most re­tirees to $3,550 monthly from $5,000.

Fu­ture pen­sion cuts will also hit Team­sters who are still work­ing, but the amount won’t be as high.

The vote in fa­vor of the cuts caused an up­roar on so­cial me­dia be­cause of how the fi­nal count is tal­lied.

Un­der fed­eral law, any mem­ber who doesn’t vote is counted as a yes.

De­feat­ing the pro­posal would have re­quired a ma­jor­ity of the 34,000 to re­turn a “no” bal­lot.

At the fi­nal count, 9,788 did vote no — much more than the 4,081 who voted in fa­vor of the cuts.

But 20,767 el­i­gi­ble Team­sters didn’t vote at all, and those were counted as a yes, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Trea­sury.

“Wow, let down from the com­pany I worked for, the union I trusted and the 20,750 broth­ers that didn’t want to bother,” wrote Daniel Keenan on the Face­book page for the Team­sters Al­liance for Pen­sion Pro­tec­tion.

The Team­sters fund is just the third so-called mul­ti­em­ployer pen­sion plan to re­sort to slash­ing ben­e­fits to pre­vent run­ning out of money, ac­cord­ing to Reuters.

At least 100 mul­ti­em­ployer plans with 1.3 mil­lion par­tic­i­pants are in dan­ger of go­ing broke in 20 years, con­sult­ing firm Che­iron Inc. told Reuters.

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