“Many people forget that pensions are not some gift from employers, they are deferred wages. We have to fight tooth and nail for our pensions for our health care. We traded wage increases to win them and we’re not going to give them back to anybody. No way.” –General Secretary-Treasurer C. Thomas Keegel (6/28/07 at the 27th Convention)
Protecting pensions has been a hot topic nationwide. In New Jersey, the future of the public pension system (PERS) has been in the news. Some New Jersey Legislators believe that halting the current system, called a “defined benefit” pension and starting a “defined contribution” system would save the taxpayer and the current budget woes. However, many experts see it differently.
According to a report by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, defined benefit pensions (DB) are cost effective, have more benefits and are a good tool for attracting workers to local government and keeping those workers. Defined contribution plans (DC) have been proven unsatisfactory in Florida, Los Angeles County and West Virginia.
At the 2006 Teamsters Convention in Las Vegas, a resolution was passed addressing this situation. In the resolution it states, “…the Teamsters Union will continue to oppose any legislation that jeopardizes the retirement security of our members, and will continue to fight to preserve the defined benefit pension system that is the foundation of this retirement security and…will fight in all contracts and upcoming bargaining to preserve defined benefit pensions for Teamster members.”
Click this to read more about the Teamsters fighting for pensions.
Click this to read more about the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems push to save DB plans.