Local One Pension Fund Receives Special Financial Assistance from PBGC
Pensions are now fully funded for almost 20,000 members, retirees, and spouses.
UFCW Local One, Which Represents Thousands Of Food and Commercial Workers At Major Upstate Employers Like Tops Supermarket, Were Victims Of A Pension System That Collapsed After 2008 Crash; Without Action, After a Lifetime of Hard Work, Many Could Not Retire Or Would Have Paltry or Zero Pension Benefits Remaining
As Schumer’s First Major Act As Majority Leader, He Secured Pension Fix So Union Members, Who Worked Their Whole Lives But Risked Losing Payments Through No Fault Of Their Own, Got Hard-Earned Pensions; Now 19,000 Union Members Across Buffalo, Syracuse, The Southern Tier, Finger Lakes And Upstate NY Have Finally Got The Relief They Needed
Schumer: Upstate NY UFCW Local One Union Families Can Breathe A Massive Sigh Of Relief With The Full Pensions They Rightfully Earned Again Providing Economic Security
After years of relentless advocacy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local One, with 19,000+ members and their families across Buffalo, Syracuse, the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Upstate NY, will receive $764 million pension-fix payout from the American Rescue Plan. Schumer said that this would ensure that UFCW Local One members and their families receive the hard-earned benefits they paid into their whole lives but reduced through no fault of their own. The senator said with these hard-earned pensions restored, UFCW members and their families can finally have the financial security they deserve.
“From Tops Supermarkets to making world famous products like Gianelli’s sausages in Syracuse and Sahlen’s hot dogs in Buffalo, UFCW Local One workers are the beating heart of Upstate NY’s food and commercial industry. Upstate New York union members of UFCW Local One and their families could have lost the benefits they earned over a lifetime of work – through no fault of their own – putting their financial security, retirements, and families’ futures at risk. When I became majority leader, I promised I would not stop fighting until our union brothers and sisters and their families got the pension relief they needed and earned,” said Senator Schumer. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, I can finally say a promise made is a promise kept to the tune of over $764 million for 19,000 UFCW Local One members across Upstate New York who will see their pensions restored.”
“Before the Butch Lewis Relief Act, workers were at risk of losing the retirement security that they earned through a lifetime of hard work, “said Frank DeRiso, President of UFCW Local One. “Thanks to the leadership of Senator Schumer and the Biden Administration, 19,000 UFCW Local One members and their families can take a deep sigh of relief knowing that their hard-earned retirement savings are now protected from significant cuts. Senator Schumer continues to deliver for New Yorkers, and we thank him for that. Working people are the backbone of America, and when promises are made to working-class Americans, they must be kept.”
According to PBGC, the plan was projected to become insolvent and run out of money in 2026. Without the SFA Program, the UFCW Local One Plan would have been required to reduce participants’ benefits to the PBGC guarantee levels upon plan insolvency, which is roughly 15 percent below the benefits payable under the plan’s terms.
Schumer explained that after the 2008 financial crash, many union workers in multiemployer pension plans were in danger of collapse due to out-of-control speculation on Wall Street. Multiemployer plans are created through agreements between employers and a union, with plans typically involving multiple employers in a single industry or related industries. Countless families and workers faced the prospect of losing out on retirement savings – through no fault of their own. Senator Schumer fought to include the Butch Lewis Act in the American Rescue Plan – securing pension solvency in his first significant bill as majority leader. Before the American Rescue Plan, over 200 multiemployer plans were on pace to become insolvent soon, risking benefits for millions of workers and their families. The law created the Special Financial Assistance program administered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to protect benefits for millions of workers, reverse harsh pension cuts, and put existing plans on a path to solvency through 2051.