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Thu Jun 14, 2018, 08:54 AM

Failing Pension Fund Threatens Thousands of Retired Truckers

"Jim Onley logged more than a million miles behind the wheel during his more than three-decade career as a truck driver, but a letter delivered to his New Milford, Ill., home in April stopped him in his tracks.

The letter said his $2,100-a-month pension will be gone by 2025 and maybe sooner.

Onley retired in 2002 when his employer, Consolidated Freightways, went bankrupt and closed its doors. The company was a member of the Central States Pension Fund, the nation’s fourth largest multiemployer pension fund, which told its nearly 400,000 pensioners in April that it will run out of cash by 2025, and possibly sooner.

There are more than 1,000 multiemployer pension funds in the U.S., and about 100 of them — of which Central States is the largest — are projected to run out of money within 20 years. The magnitude of these failing private sector pensions is far smaller than the looming catastrophes facing thousands of underfunded local and state government pensions across the country. Nevertheless, if all endangered multiemployer pension funds were to go under, some 1.2 million active and retired workers in the U.S. would be left with a fraction of the pension benefits they were promised."


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