Making Progress to Save Pensions

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GREEN BAY, Wisc (WBAY) Retired teamsters say they're making progress on efforts to keep their pensions from being cut.

teamsters annual meeting

Their two-year battle with the Central States Pension Fund is also gaining national attention.

We first met Brad Vaughn and Terry Black, both from Green Bay, in the fall of 2015.

They had just received notice from the Central States Pension Fund that their retirement checks would be cut by nearly 50-percent, along with 270,000 other retirees in 37 states, including 15,000 in Wisconsin.

"So we mobilized, we started having meetings, we got backing, went to Washington rallying in front of the House and saying no this isn't right," says Black.

Despite claims the multi-employer pension fund would be bankrupt by 2025, the U.S. Treasury Department told Central States it couldn't start reducing retirement checks.

But knowing that wouldn't solve the long-term problem, retired teamsters formed the National United Committee to Protect Pensions.

"We're just working to get this thing fixed for everybody so that we can move on with our lives in retirement and get what we have coming to us and what we deserve," says Vaughn.

Along with holding monthly informational meetings in more than 60 communities, committee leaders have also made several trips to Washington D.C.

Just last month, they met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who promised the country's growing pension crisis is on the agenda right behind healthcare and the country's budget.

"This pension issue is 3rd in line as far as getting this done cause it's going to collapse the economy if something doesn't get fixed," says Vaughn.

With bi-partisan support from Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, Vaughn and Black feel a legislative solution is around the corner.

"We're in this to win it and it's all the way to the end," says Black.

"We're confident, we're more confident that we ever have been that were going to get something done here," adds Vaughn.

The retired teamsters say they'll be back in Washington D.C. this fall with a proposed bill to solve the country's pension crisis.