Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), joined Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH-10) in sending a bicameral, bipartisan letter to Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Congressman Darell Issa (R-CA), Chairmen of the Senate and House Oversight Committees respectively, urging them to continue their Committees' examinations of matters pertaining to the unjust termination of Delphi salaried retiree pensions.
"Until the thousands of families across Ohio who did not receive the benefits they were promised receive at least the decency of an answer as to why other retirees from the same company received far better treatment, I will not stop pressing for answers regarding the unfair treatment of Delphi retirees," Portman said. "Earlier this year, I pushed Secretary Lew to look closely into this issue and find a remedy for the hardworking Ohioans who played by the rules but were left behind during an already weak economy. While I am pleased that the Treasury Department responded to my calls to meet with the Delphi salaried retirees, many questions remain, and I am continuing to press for a swift resolution for these struggling families."
Since Delphi's defined benefit pension plan was terminated, Delphi workers have lost as much as 70 percent of their earned pension benefits. The Auto Policy Task Force subsequently decided to "top-up" the pension benefits of union retirees, but not those of the 20,000 salaried retirees. An economic impact study by Youngstown State University found that decreased retiree income and benefits will cost the Dayton area about $80 million per year and the Youngstown area about $58 million per year in lost economic activity.
In February 2013, Portman submitted questions for the Congressional Record for the Senate Finance Committee hearing considering the nomination of Jacob Lew to serve as Treasury Secretary regarding the treatment of retired Delphi salaried workers during the General Motors bankruptcy.
In March 2013, Portman and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) 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 Secretary 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.
Portman, Wicker, and Turner are joined by Senators Dan Coats (R-IN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Congressmen Mike Kelly (R-PA), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Susan Brooks (R-IN), J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Gregg Harper (R-MS), David Joyce (R-OH), Luke Messer (R-IN), Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), and Austin Scott (R-GA).
The full text of the letter is below.
May 30, 2013
The Honorable Thomas R. Carper The Honorable Darrell Issa
U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland House Committee on Oversight &
Security & Governmental Affairs Government Reform
340 Dirksen 2157 Rayburn House Office
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Carper and Chairman Issa,
With the 113th Congress well under way, we are writing to urge the Committees to continue to examine matters pertaining to the unjust termination of Delphi salaried retiree pensions.
Since the Committees are responsible for government oversight, we ask that you investigate the disparities in the treatment of pensions between Delphi Corporation's hourly- and salary-based employees. We request that you pursue information from the Department of the Treasury, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and all other interested parties.
As you are aware, when the federal government bailed out General Motors in 2009, more than 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees saw their benefits and pensions severely reduced while the pensions of their union counterparts were made whole. Like Americans across the country, non-union Delphi retirees have built their careers with the promise of a financially secure retirement. Their pensions were earned working side by side with their union counterparts.
Congress should hold the Treasury and the PBGC accountable for their actions, and we hope the Committees' efforts will help resolve this longstanding issue. We ask that you work to provide greater clarity and transparency into actions that lead to this unfortunate outcome.
Thank you for your continued commitment to this issue.