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 from $5,000.
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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.
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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.
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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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