Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for promises made by multiemployer industry pension plans, Sam Johnson, R-Texas, chairman of the House Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee said today. Mr. Johnson's remarks during a hearing on the health of the pension system cast doubt about House Republican lawmakers' willingness to include funding relief to such plans in a pension package being negotiated between House and Senate lawmakers. "Striking differences exist between the single and multiemployer pension systems. In many cases, it is inappropriate to expect these systems to address problems in exactly the same manner," Mr. Johnson said.
John McDevitt, senior vice president at the United Parcel Service, Atlanta — which had $13.4 billion in pension assets as of Sept. 30 — testified that multiemployer pension plans are in trouble because of structural imbalances in the labor market and the trucking industry. "Short-term fixes dependent on market changes will not correct the financial solvency problems of multiemployer pension plans," he said.