The inaugural episode of the Talking SMART podcast looked at a proposal from Senate Republicans that posed a serious threat to our union retirement security. Presented in a white paper by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), this plan would have imposed a new 10% tax on retirees and punished healthy plans with an 11-fold jump in fees.
SMART General President Joseph Sellers was the featured guest for episode one; he discussed this dangerous proposal, as well as the overall state of union retirement security in America.
“This affects the plan participant, the working member, our families, our spouses, our children … healthy plans, retirees, active members didn’t create this problem, and it shouldn’t be on their back,” Sellers said during the episode.
Since this episode, enormous developments have taken place. Pro-labor elected officials passed the American Rescue Plan in 2021, which included multiemployer pension relief. Funding from this legislation has already saved more than 550,000 pensions nationwide – including 1,600 SMART members in the Sheet Metal Workers Pension Fund based in Massillon, Ohio – with millions more eligible.
And effective January 1, 2022, the Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund is 81.5% funded and has been certified in the Green Zone following decades of recovery. This means that SMART sheet metal workers and retirees can rest assured that their pensions are strong and healthy, giving them greater peace of mind that they can count on the National Pension Fund (NPF) in retirement.
- SM National Pension Fund
This web site features a whiteboard primer on pension and retirement plans available through the SM National Pension Fund, as well as information on defined benefit and defined contribution plans. The whiteboard primer may also be viewed on YouTube.
- Senate Republicans’ Pension White Paper
View the full multiemployer pension white paper drafted by Senate Republicans and released in November 2019.
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Talking SMART is a member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network — working people’s voices, broadcasting worldwide 24 hours a day.
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