In June of this year Portland-based Western States Office and Professional Employees Pension fund told thousands of its members that most would see cuts of 30% in their pension checks starting October 1. While this is not particularly new in a long trend of pension cutbacks, what is more significant is that these cutbacks reflects a U.S. Treasury decision in 2014 that for the first time allows multi-employer pension plans to cut back pension benefits to those already retired (but under age 80). While pension plans have been cutting retirement benefits for younger workers and sometimes eliminating pension plans altogether, these new regulations have paved the way for a wholesale slashing of pension benefits that will only spread across the country. In the past, it was younger workers who worried about their pensions being cut. Now retirees can spend their retirement doing the same.
David A. Pace, CFA
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