U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) called on the Obama Administration to meet with Delphi salaried retirees and to pursue efforts that would restore the retirees' pensions and benefits. In a letter to U.S. Department of Treasury Sec. Jacob Lew, the senators urged Lew to review the proposal submitted by the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association (DSRA) last summer and to pursue other solutions to ensure retirees' receive the benefits they have earned that were lost through the bankruptcy of General Motors.
"Thousands of Ohio retirees dedicated their careers to working for Delphi and General Motors, but many of these retirees have yet to receive the pensions they earned and deserve," Brown said. "We all need to work together to advance solutions that may help restore pensions to Delphi retirees. I'm hopeful that Sec. Lew shares my commitment to these retirees and will give the DSRA a seat at the table."
"Over 20,000 Delphi retirees -- including thousands of families in the Youngstown and Dayton areas -- lost substantial portions of their pensions due to no fault of their own," Portman said. "I have personally spoken with Secretary Lew and I signed this letter to follow up on his pledge to look further into this issue. Our government should not pick winners and losers, and the Administration should resolve this troubling issue."
In 2009, Delphi's bankruptcy cost approximately 19,000 hourly retirees and 20,000 salaried retirees their full pensions after the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) assumed Delphi's pension plans. While three unions representing hourly Delphi retirees had reached contractual agreements with General Motors to ensure full pension protection -- negotiated in 1999 and reaffirmed in 2007 -- the remaining workers had not.
Full text of the letter is below.
March 20, 2013
The Honorable Jacob J. Lew
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
Dear Secretary Lew:
We write to you on behalf of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association and the more than 20,000 retirees they represent. As you know, these retirees saw their pension benefits severely reduced due to the bankruptcy of General Motors. We remain extremely concerned about the impact this is having on families in our states, and we are exploring all options to find an equitable solution.
Last July, the Association sent a proposal for restoring these pension benefits to President Obama. We have enclosed a copy of that proposal for your consideration and ask that you meet with the Association to discuss solutions to a problem that has remained unresolved for far too long. It is our sincere hope that a meeting with you will help to finally resolve this matter.
We continue to hear from retirees and their families who are facing serious financial and medical hardships as a result of this unexpected loss of income and benefits. These retirees earned their pension benefits through years of hard work and loyalty to their employer, only to see them suddenly taken away through no fault of their own.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.