John Hamelin 0

President Obama: Protect Our Pensions

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Dear President Obama: Please save my pension. I am a registered profesisonal nurse, and a member of the New York State Nurses Association, the union for registered nurses. I belong to a defined benefit pension plan. Funded by multiple employers in the New York City metropolitan area, the NYSNA Pension Plan covers 12,500 working registered nurses and is paying benefits to nearly 3,500 retired RNs or their beneficiaries. It has performed well over the years, and began 2008 with a surplus. Based on the plan’s history, I looked forward to a secure retirement after many years of service to my patients. Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the plan’s rehabilitation strategy must include reductions in benefits. Frankly, some employers are seeing this as an opportunity to reduce their cost to participate in the plan, at the expense of hard-working registered nurses – or get out of the plan altogether. When the PPA was first enacted, the American Benefits Council stated, “…the new funding provisions fail to give [employers] any incentive to stay in the system.” If the entire traditional pension system collapses, taxpayers will have to pick up the tab and workers will be cheated out of their full benefits. President Obama, please assemble your economic and labor teams and find a way to reduce the devastating impact of the PPA on our pension plans. Perhaps pension funds could average their performance over several years or the requirement to cut benefits could be removed. You are a friend of labor; I hope I can count on you. Sincerely,


Sponsored by the New York State Nurses Association.

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