Hear Our Stories

Written Statements

Retirement is 10-15 years away. For 26 years, I’ve been working at D.W. Dickey and Son, Inc. I’m a professional truck driver from Lisbon, Ohio. We are represented by Teamster Local Union #92. I’m worried that all these years of hard work and saving for my retirement will be fro nothing.

My employer and I contributed every paycheck to a retirement fund, Central States. It is a multiemployer pension plan (MEPP). All this means is that workers from companies similar to D.Wl Dickey, also represented by Local #92, were part of the plan. Now, we are all being told the fund will go bankrupt in a few years.

We’re not alone. As many as 100 of these plans will fail within the next few years, unless something is done to fix the problem. Congress formed a Joint Select Committee that is supposed to come forward with a plan by November 30. We need action to protect my retirement. I’m depending on them to find a solution that is fair and reasonable.

There is nothing fair or reasonable about asking people who did nothing wrong to accept massive cuts in what they planned and saved to have. My family deserves a government that does the right thing. Thank you.

Michael Malone
Ohio Teamster for 26 years

For more than 27 years, I have been part of the Teamsters, working hard to take care of my family and plan for my retirement.  Every paycheck, my employer and I made a contribution to a pension fund.  When we voted on contracts, most of us understood we were taking a little less in paychecks to help assure our retirement years would be taken care of.

Now, as a lot of us are getting ready to retire, we are being told the pension plan fund (Central States) is going bankrupt.  None of us—workers or employers—did anything wrong.  We did our part.  I’m no expert on what all the problems are, or how to fix things.  That’s above my pay grade.  I do know one thing.  The time has come for Congress and the President to work together to find a solution that is fair to all of us.

Lee Coleman
Ohio Teamster for 27 years

I retired from driving a delivery truck after 21 years and am barely getting by on social security and my small pension check.  My wife and I are in poor health – in fact she is confined to a wheel chair and I provide her daily care.  I am worried that not only will my pension check be taken away, but Social Security is not in great shape and mail fail in the future.  Please, Senator Alexander, help us keep what’s ours so we can continue to get by.

Will

I worked at UPS for 45 years and contributed to this pension in order to sustain my family in this stage of my life.  It is very disheartening to learn that my pension is now in jeopardy.

Ronnie

I want members of the Joint Select Committee to understand that I already know what it feels like to receive a much small pension than what had been coming in.  I am a widow of a retiree and already lost over half the pension that he was receiving, along with his social security, when he died.  Very difficult to get by. The very idea of losing all of the pension is devastating to think about.

Judy

My Central States pension check is how I pay for expensive medications I have to take.  Without that check, I will have to decide which medication I can afford and which ones I cannot.  That is a position we shouldn’t have to be in.

Gary

I was raised in the cotton fields of Mississippi and have never been a rich person.  I currently live check to check as it is, but if you allow my pension to be taken away, I don’t know how I’ll pay our medical bills or my mortgage.  I will likely lose my house and have to move into something cheaper.  After working all these years and paying into the pension system, I expected to get out what we put in upon retirement.  I really need that monthly payment – something more than social security.  Both I and my wife are in our 80’s and in poor health.  Please don’t let the pension fund go bankrupt and take away all we’ve worked for.

Ezra R.

I am a retired Teamster with more than 20 years in the construction industry.  Just the thought of losing my pension has put my family in dire straits.  Health insurance rates are so high now that any loss of income is detrimental.  I have health issues and must take expensive medications sp. if the pension check goes away, I will have to just say “that’s it” and stop taking the medication.  Those of us living on social security understand that means we already live under the poverty level; if we lose our pension, it will be very tough to cover a single unexpected expense – something like a new roof or any other home repairs.  I urge Sen. Alexander and Congressman Roe to figure out something to bring resolution to this problem.

Don

If our pension is stopped or even reduced, we will not be able to pay for our home. We are raising a grandchild, and we only get social security and this small pension to live on. We can’t afford to have any money taken away from us. It is hard enough to make it now, let alone think about the pension disappearing. The cost of living is extremely high as it is — having to pay for medication, high electric bills, car payments, credit card debt, etc. We need ALL the money from my pension plan. It is my money, and this is not right to take away what we worked for.We need help!

David K.

I am a UPS retiree with 30 years’ service and rely on my Central States Pension to live.  If I were to lose my pension, I would lose my home and have to make decisions about foregoing medical care.

Butch

I am not the only one relying on my pension check; that payment also supports a wife, son and grandchildren.  When everything I touch seems to cost money – high medical bills, fuel and electricity – the loss of any money at all is devastating.  I am 82 years old and the idea that I can pick up extra work to make up the difference is not realistic.  Please tell Senator Alexander and Congressman Roe that my pension is critical to my livelihood and they need to find a way to protect it.

Billy J.

I have a Central States pension. I am very worried about losing it. It would have a devastating effect on my life. We all worked hard and contributed into these pensions, and now depend on them to live on and meet our bills every month. Senator Alexander, and Congressman Roe, please understand how important these pensions are to all those affected, and do whatever you can to protect them.

Andrew

It is hard to think about possibly losing my pension when my wife is on oxygen 24/7.  I worked for decades as a Teamster to secure this retirement benefit and am angry that it might now be worthless.  Without that pension check, we will not be able to pay for many things – including the Medicare supplemental plan that covers my wife’s oxygen.  Given the current state of affairs, I still have to work through my “retirement” years – and even then, struggle to find a job that will be approved by the Teamsters. In a nutshell, I will go bankrupt if Central States goes under.  We all remember when Congress chose to help the banks in 2008 rather than the failing pension plans, but now it’s our turn.  Retirees pay legislators’ salaries, and now we need their help.

James B.