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An American senator plans to bring the widow of Butch Lewis, whose name is attached to a bill to protect retirement income, to the State of the Union address on Tuesday to highlight the pension crisis facing working and retired Americans.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says the widow’s presence “will be an attempt to draw attention to the hundreds of thousands of workers and retirees whose pensions are at risk,” reports the Norwalk Reflector.
“Rita (Lewis) has rallied on behalf of her husband, Butch, and thousands of other workers who are now forced to fight for the pensions they’ve earned,” Brown is quoted saying. “If we truly value a hard day’s work in this country, we can start by keeping our promise to Rita, Teamsters, miners and so many whose retirement security is at risk.”
Lewis was a Vietnam War veteran and a Teamster’s trucker for nearly 40 years. His name is attached to legislation, the Butch Lewis Act, designed to protect the retirement income of members of pension plans in such dire straights that they have proposed ‘rescue’ strategies involving cuts to retirement income.
If adopted the legislation would create a new federal office, the Pension Rehabilitation Administration in the U.S. Treasury, to allow troubled funds to borrow money at low interest rates, giving them time to get back to fiscal health.
“I hope my presence brings to light our efforts to pass the Butch Lewis Act,” Rita Lewis is quoted saying. “I hope Ohioans will look to me and see the thousands of retirees fighting to save the pensions we worked for, paid for and were promised. Losing my husband in such an untimely, heartbreaking manner has awakened the passion and conviction to never give up, and I won’t until we pass this bill.”
More: Act’s sponsor says it will get funds back on solid ground.
ARIA provides a forum for an informed discussion on retirement income adequacy, and other related issues, including pension and retirement coverage, and defined benefit pension plans – ARIA pensions blog, 12 Dunlop Street, Barrie, ON, L4N 1V6 – sitemanager@ariapensions
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