Money can't solve all problems, that's a given. But for the leaders and members of the Teamsters Central States, Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Fund, Chicago, which for decades had been facing mounting financial problems and looming insolvency, money was what they needed.
After years of uncertainty, benefits cuts and dwindling hope, money was what they got — to the tune of $35.8 billion.
"I was elated," said Thomas C. Nyhan, Chicago-based executive director of the Central States Pension Fund when he heard news that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. approved $35.8 billion in federal assistance to the plan. "It was a ray of hope in an otherwise 20 years of futile efforts to try to get something to fix the plan."
President Joe Biden on Dec. 8 announced that PBGC had approved the funding under the Special Financial Assistance Program. The Central States award was by far the program's largest. Created by the American Rescue Plan Act that Democrats passed in March 2021, the program was designed to shore up struggling multiemployer pension plans through 2051. The PBGC estimates the total cost of the program will range from $74 billion to $91 billion.