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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Congressman Cleaver Requests Action from President Trump on Pension Crisis

Mar 9, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II sent a letter, which can be found here, to President Donald Trump to address the crisis involving multi-employer pensions. Hundreds of thousands of retirees across the country, who believed their pensions were secure, are discovering an unsettling reality. That is, large multi-employer funds such the Central States Pension Fund, are lacking the money to pay retirees. The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) reports that 1.5 million people in 200 multi-employer plans across the country are in grave risk of insolvency. If one of these plans – such as the Central States Fund – collapses, the PBGC would go under and all 10 million pensioners guaranteed by the PBGC would face the loss of their pensions.

“I’ve listened to people in my district who worked for decades to secure their retirement. They sacrificed to make sure they would have a decent life after working. Now those people are finding that their pensions won’t be there. Some are facing reductions as much as 60-70 percent, “ said Congressman Cleaver.

Congressman Cleaver has been working on behalf of retirees on this issue since 2015. In addition to a large town hall meeting held last year in Kansas City, Missouri, Congressman Cleaver also sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting a formal investigation into the management of the Central States Pension Fund to determine if there was any fraudulent or mishandling of funds. He also joined other U.S. House members in requesting a full accounting by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). That study is currently ongoing. Congressman Cleaver will continue those efforts in 2017 beginning with this letter asking that President Trump work with Congress on correcting this issue.

“It’s not fair to those retirees, and we need to make this right. I’m hoping President Trump feels the same way,” said Congressman Cleaver.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here. For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or