Do You Know What Your Government Is Really Doing?

We have been fortunate enough to have made several contacts that are well informed on what our elected officials in this country are really doing in Washington. The WOTC and myself have also tried every way we could to stay out of the running of our country and the government. Due to certain events that are now unfolding, we will no longer take that stand. When we are informed of any activities that are going on in our government that will effect your will being and the well being of the ones that you love, we are going to let you know. It is of our own opinion that you have more of a right to say how your life is run and lived than the government does.

We have spent the day researching our sources to make sure all the facts are correct and they are. It is a rather lengthy article but I hope you will take time to read it. It concerns the end of all pensions and retirement plans in this country. It is trying to start with one Pension Plan, if they succeed with this one, we will never stop them. Then we will all wonder, whose is next? The “golden years” you once planned and dreamed about, won’t exist. Instead, the threat and horror of being too old to work, no pension coming in, losing your home you have worked all your life for and being put out on the street, the choice between buying your medicine or eating dog food for supper….I think I have painted a gloomy enough picture for you, unfortunately it is a picture that could come true for the majority of us.  Think about it as you read this article.

At the end of the article, you will find a link to a site that tell you how you can get involved, contact your Congressman/woman and let your voice be heard. If you plan on ever retiring in this country, I would advise you read it and then take action…..

Let’s start at the beginning….

It has recently came to light that one of the biggest labor unions that ever existed in this country is seeking permission to cut benefits for participants, including retirees, as part of a proposed rescue plan that is now awaiting approval from the Treasury Department. The union is the International Brotherhood of Teamsters(which will be referred to Central States Pension Fund hereafter), who had assets of $17.8 billion as of Dec 31, 2014 and is now projected to become insolvent in 2026.

According to a statement released by Executive Director Thomas Nyhan,”the plan is painful but “the only realistic way possible to save the fund.” He also went on to add despite a recovering economy and investment returns comparable to similar-size pension funds, “there is simply no way to make up for the lost employer contributions” from the hundred of employers that have closed their doors or gone bankrupt.

The Mutliemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 allows trustees of deeply underfunded pension funds that would be insolvent within 15 years to reduce benefits, even for current retirees, after they have tried all other means. Those cuts can be no lower than 110% of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s guarantee. It is stated that disabled or older retirees have further protection but did not offer any recourse that might be available to those individiuals.

Under this proposed Central States rescue plan, terminated participants with less than 20 years of service would get the largest cuts, this compared to retirees, active participants and terminated participants with 20 or more years of service. Active participants whose continued participation in the pension fund is “vital,” they can continue to earn pension credits of 0.75% of the contributions they paid in, down from the current 1%, and re-employment restrictions on retirees are then lifted, according to Mr. Nyhan.

Mr. Nyhan stated that action was needed now. “The longer we wait to act, the larger that benefit reductions will have to be. And if we wait too long, the Central States pension fund will run out of money and won’t be able to be saved.”

The rescue plan application was submitted September 25, 2015 to the Treasury Department, which will post it shortly and allow for public comments. Treasury officials have up to 225 day to review an application, and once approved, 30 days to administer a participant vote on the proposed benefit reductions. The law requires the Treasury Department to approve an application if a plan’s potential claims would cost the PBGC $1 billion or more.

Source:

Pensions & Investments

http://www.pionline.com/article/20151002/ONLINE/151009957/central-states-teamsters-pension-fund-seeks-permission-to-cut-benefits

– Contact Hazel Bradford at hbradford@pionline.com | @Bradford_PI

What Effect Will This Pension Reduction Have on the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Retirees, Their Widows and Children?

Retired truck driver Jerry Deaton, 69, states that every time he gets a pension check he gets chills and worry how much money he could lose in the future given all the rumors about the Central States proposal bill before the Treasury Department.

On Monday, Mr Deaton got his answer. His pension could be slashed by roughly half. His $2700 a month pension is targeted to be cut to around $1317 a month as of July 1, 2016, as part of the proprosed rescue package now before the Treasury Department.

Mr. Deaton when on to add, “It doesn’t leave you with much options.” “I’ll be 70 years old in December. Who’s going to hire a 70-year-old truck driver?”

The giant Central States Pension Fund — which has $17.3 billion in net assets — covers more than 240 union locals with more than 400,000 participants who live in 37 states. Currently the fund said it pays a pension benefit to more than 220,000 retirees nationwide and about 115,000 retires across the U. S. face reductions now.

In Michigan alone, the fund is said to cover 24,205 current retirees — and 13, 179 now face benefit reductions. The proposed pension rescue package before the Treasury Department would save the pension fund but it would destroy a majority of this country’s hard working men and women’s future. Those that worked all their lives and only wanted to retire with the guarantee of a comfortable life after they retired.

“People are absolutely furious. People can’t believe it — 50%? Fifty?” said Maurice Curran, 71, of LIvonia, Michigan. Curran, who retired 10 years ago, used to drive a truck for Spartan Stores in Plymouth, Michigan. His pension now is $3000 a month but is set to be cut July 1st. Mr. Curan stated, “I’ll lose $1500 a month — $18,000 a year,” he went on to add, “This is draconian. The Teamsters are not bankrupt.”

Fred Bora, 69, who lives in Comins in northern Michigan, said his potential cut would be about 60% and drive his monthly pension down to about $1288 a month. His pension could face a deeper cut because the company where he worked went out of business in the Great Recession. Bora added, “I worked 30 years and they promised me a pension. How can they take it away?” Right now, Bora and his wife, Katherine, 80, have two mortgages. They pay about $800 a month on their home. “$800 — that’s almost my full pension check” after the cuts, Bora stated.

We have talked and have had access to several of the Teamster retirees in the Kentucky area. Those that we interviewed, stated that they also received the notification of their benefits being potential cut by the start of July 1, 2016. On average of these retirees that we talked to, a retiree drawing a pension check of $1424.00 first cut would be to $1080.00. A second cut would occur the following year which would further reduce the retiree’s check to $984.00. The majority of the retirees that we interviewed have house payments, car payments, utilities, groceries and not to mention extremely high medicial bills. A few even went as far as to say that the $984.00 wouldn’t even cover their retirement home mortgages. If this reduction takes place, most of them will be forced to sell their homes and make other drastic decisions as to whether purchase their much needed medicine or to eat.

Source:

Detroit Free Press

http://www.freep.com/story/money/personal-finance/susan-tompor/2015/10/07/teamsters-pension-cuts-central-states/73515432/

Retiree Interviews conducted in Kentucky courtesy of

K. Steel, Witches Of The Craft, witches_of_the_craft@outlook.com

KEEP OUR PENSION PROMISES ACT of 2015

Bill Number: S. 1631 and H. R. 2844

Date Introduced: Thursday, June 18, 2015 – 12:00

The Keep Our Pension Promises Act of 2015 repeals the “benefit suspension” provisions of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) enacted at the end of the last Congress. Those provisions allow the trustees of certain financially-troubled multiemployer pension plans to reduce the benefits of retirees and their widows and widowers. The Keep Our Pension Promises Act would ensure that pensioners will continue to get their full benefits.

Instead of permitting ongoing multiemployer plans to cut retiree benefits, S. 1631 and H.R. 2844 ensure that plans will have enough money to continue to pay promised pensions. The bills do this by modifying the “partition” sections of MPRA. They keep all other MPRA provisions intact, including provisions that authorize the federal pension insurance agency (the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation or PBGC) to assist plans interested in merging with each other. The legislation is revenue neutral, thanks to the elimination of two unnecessary tax breaks for wealthy individuals and estates.

How partitioning would work under the Keep Our Pension Promises Act

Trustees of a financially-troubled multiemployer plan that is likely to run out of money within 10 to 20 years will be able to apply to the PBGC for a partition order.

If the partition order is issued, the plan will not have to pay the full benefits of its “orphaned” pensioners who are retired as of the date of the partition order. (Orphaned retirees are those whose former employers went bankrupt or withdrew from the plan without fully paying what they owed.)

The PBGC will transfer money to the plan each year in an amount equal to the “guaranteed benefits” the PBGC would have had to pay to these orphaned retirees if the plan were “insolvent” without enough money to pay promised benefits in that year.

A new Legacy Fund will be created at the PBGC supported by general revenue from the U.S. Treasury. The revenue cost will be offset by money raised from closing two tax loopholes that primarily benefit high-income individuals and their estates, the “like-kind exchange” and “minority valuation discount” provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

The money that the PBGC transfers to the partitioned plan will come from both its current multiemployer pension insurance fund and the new Legacy Fund.

The plan that has been partitioned will pay the difference between the guaranteed benefit amounts funded by the PBGC and the retirees’ full benefits, up to specified limits.

Plans will continue to pay full benefits for non-orphaned retirees.

Sponsors: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)

You can obtain further information in regards to tracking this bill and also contacting your Congress man or woman at Govtrack.us.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1631

A Quick Look At The History of the Teamsters & Why We Should Act

The news that we have provided you with today has been researched and is accurate. It does involve one of the most controversial unions in our country, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Here is a look at the Teamster History

For more than a century, the Teamsters Union has helped millions of workers achieve the American Dream. Our success is a testament to those who came before us, who stood together to form a union and a labor movement. These workers fought for the rights and privileges that today most Americans take for granted. Without the solidarity of unions, there would be no weekends, no pensions and no health insurance.

The best way to celebrate Teamster History is to highlight the actions and events that improved working and living standards for American families and communities.

Learning about the struggles and victories of the past will help union leaders, members and nonmembers alike appreciate the contributions Teamsters made not only to labor history but to American history. Review the real story of the Teamsters in the 20th century. https://teamster.org/content/real-story-20th-century

To get the visual concept of what makes the Teamsters Union so great, check out the Teamster history visual timeline. https://teamster.org/content/teamster-history-visual-timeline

The founding members of the union foresaw the growth and promise of the Teamsters as a model for workers everywhere. And they developed a philosophy that is as true and vital today as it was in 1903:

“Let each member do his duty as he sees fit. Let each put his shoulder to the wheel and work together to bring about better results. Let no member sow seeds of discord within our ranks, and let our enemies see that the Teamsters of this country are determined to get their just rewards and to make their organization as it should be — one of the largest and strongest trade unions in the country now and beyond.”

Source:

Teamsters, North America’s Strongest Union

https://teamster.org/about/teamster-history

What we have presented to you is articles and legislation that tell of nothing but what a disgrace our country has become. The legislation that was passed gave huge Pension Funds the right to attempt this to their retirees was put into law to stop the last Congressional shut down. No one was made aware of this fact. No one knew that the Congress was trying to play God with our future and the future of our Elderly Americans. So that begs the question do you really know what your Congressmen/women and Senators are up too? Are they doing the job that you elected them to do?

We focused on the Teamsters because this is the first of many Pension Funds that will try to use this corrupt piece of legislation. The Teamsters have a checkered pass but if it was not for them most of us would still be working for $1.00 an hour a day. They got out in the streets, picketed, striked and even fought for your right to a decent wage for a hard day work. Many unions followed after the Teamsters. The other unions saw what the Teamsters were trying to do and accomplishing, they wanted it for the individuals they represented. The unions joined forces and we a formitable force until Ronald Reagan became President of the United States in the ’80’s. He made the statement that it was his intent to bust the unions in this country. He did bust the Air Traffic Controllers Unions in this country. After that, he tried to bust other unions in this country but those left stood strong. They stood strong for us, where we would maintain a way of life we had come a custom too, expected and deserved. Without those surviving unions, most of us wouldn’t be able to put food on the table at night, have a place to live or a car to drive. We owe these unions, whether it is the Teamsters or not, a great deal. We owe them our way of live.

Are we going to idly sit by and watch these great men and women, who fought to give us what rights we have in this country be put out on the streets, loss their pension that they worked for and were promised? When you work all your life, you look forward to retirement. Will you even have a retirement?

You spend most of your life at work. You work long, over-time hours, you pay into a pension plan or a 401K plan, you think your golden years will be just that, “golden.” You reach the age of retirement, then there is nothing, no pension, no 401K, and you are too old and tired to work anymore, then what?

The majority of this article has been about the Teamsters. It is because this is the first of any of the Pension Plans that are trying to impliment this new piece of legislation before the Treasury Department. If Central States gets this approved by the Treasury Department then there will be more to follow. Your pension plan or a family member’s pension plan could be next. The companies today do not want to pay pensions or retirement plans to any of their retirees. If they are allowed a loophole to avoid paying these well deserved pensions and retirement plans, they will find it and they will use it. It this bill before the Treasury Department is allowed to pass, every American in this country will never know what retirement is. We will all be forced to work till our last dying breathe.

The Keep Our Pension Promises Act introduced by Democratic Presidential Candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) will prevent any company or pension fund from ever denying their participants a pension check and a comfortable retirement after long years of dedication and service to the company they worked for.

This effects all of us whether you think so or not, it might be the Teamsters now but if it is allowed to pass before the Treasury, are you so certain your retirement is secure?

We have provided a link below that will direct you to a site that tells you how you can take action, get involved, and who to contact to let your voice be heard.

Pension Rights Center

http://www.pensionrights.org/issues/legislation/keep-our-pension-promises-act-2015

*Footnote: It should be noted that Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., is against the cutting of the Teamster retirees benefit package. Mr. Hoffa strongly believes that these men and women worked and deserve their pensions and the benefits promised them.

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My Parents and I in Two Different Plains

Coven Life®

Mon n Dad 8 15 1957

Picture of my mom, Jeannine, and my dad, Carl. Taken 3 days after their wedding in 1957

Parents and Their Legacy

When we are young we look to our parents to teach us right from wrong in all kinds of things. From our first steps to say, “Sorry I stepped on your toes, to table manners, how to say, “Please, thank you and your welcome” “You get in more trouble if you lie then if you admit to what you did wrong”, to all the other niceties we need to get along in today’s society. Yes it is still polite to open the door for a woman, help older people out by opening doors carrying bags or packages so they do not have to, offer a lady, older person or pregnant woman a seat in a crowded bus or train. These are all things I have taught my own children…

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