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Cowden Letter to PA Senators Casey and Toomey Re: Butch Lewis Act

Dear Senator Casey and Senator Toomey,

I write to ask that you support the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019 (HR 397), commonly known as the Butch-Lewis Act.  To expedite the passage of HR 397, I ask that it be attached to critical legislation that is currently being crafted to address the COVID-19 crisis.

As you are aware, HR 397 passed the House in July 2019 with bipartisan support, however it has been unable to advance in the Senate.  This bill provides critical relief to the multiemployer pension system, saving the retirement income of millions of workers who currently participate in these pension programs.

HR 397 provides for Treasury-backed loans that would ensure multiemployer pensions have the funds to pay the promised benefits.  Note that this is similar to the support being considered for businesses such as the airline industry.  The projected cost of HR 397 is $4.7B annually (PBGC estimate), which pales in comparison to the cost associated with currently considered COVID-19 legislation and the reported $500B to support airlines and other businesses during this time.

Thank you for your consideration.  Please contact me anytime with questions or if we can provide assistance in any way.


Bradford L. Rigby, EA, ASA, MAAA

Vice President, Retirement and Actuarial Services


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