Members of the plan have to submit their votes by Jan. 20. A “no” vote from the majority of the plan members cannot be overridden by the Treasury Department.
“The good news here is the final decision rests with the workers,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said in a statement.
But some pension advocates worry that not enough participants will cast a vote, since roughly half of the members are exempt from the cuts because of their age or a disability. Under the law, anyone who does not vote will be registered as voting in favor of the proposal.
The leaders of the Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund say the cuts are necessary to keep the fund afloat. If no changes are made, the fund is expected to run out of money by 2024. At that point, the pension plan would need to rely on a federal insurance program that is supposed to back up struggling pension plans.
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