Congressman Andy Levin Votes to Save Pensions of up to 1.3 Million Workers and Retirees

July 25, 2019
Press Release
Congressman Levin voted to pass the bipartisan Butch Lewis Act, which would protect the hard-earned retirement benefits of workers and retirees participating in multiemployer plans.

Congressman Andy Levin, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, yesterday voted to pass the Butch Lewis Act, which could save the pensions of up to 1.3 million workers and retirees.

“We’re talking about hard-working Americans being denied money that they earned and chose to put aside for a secure retirement,” Congressman Levin said. “To deny these workers and retirees their own money is like stealing from them, and we can’t let that happen. I came to Congress to raise the standard of living for working people, and that can’t happen if workers are denied money that they chose to put into a pension plan. I’m proud to support the Butch Lewis Act and do whatever I can to protect pension programs so that a secure retirement is in reach for working people.”

The Butch Lewis Act will:

  • Keep pension promises, keep money in the pockets of retirees who rely upon it, and guarantee pension benefits into the future.
  • Create a new office within the Treasury Department, the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA). The Pension Rehabilitation Administration would allow pension plans to borrow the money they need to remain solvent and continue providing retirement security for retirees and workers for decades to come. 
  • Sell Treasury-issued bonds through the PRA in the open market to large investors such as financial firms. The PRA would then lend the money from the sale of the bonds to the financially troubled pension plans.

Lend pension programs money for 30 years at low interest rates through the PRA to ensure that the plans could afford to repay the loans. The 30-year loans would buy time for the pension plans so they can focus on investing for the long-term health of the plan, while the loans pay benefits owed to current retirees.