Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly sent a letter to the Treasury Department and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on behalf of Delphi salaried retirees whose pension benefits were cut by as much as 70 percent. Donnelly's letter requests that the Treasury and PBGC be completely transparent regarding the federal government's role in any decisions relating to the retirees' pensions and that the Treasury and PBGC consider a proposal developed by the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association (DSRA) to restore lost benefits.
"I'm pleased that Delphi and our automotive companies emerged from bankruptcy and have continued to be a major employer in Indiana, but the loss of retirement benefits is hurting families in our area," said Donnelly. "These retirees were dedicated to their jobs and deserve the benefits they earned. The federal government should work with the DSRA to develop a plan that treats all Delphi retirees fairly."
In February 2009, Donnelly and Congressman Dan Burton (IN-05) sent a letter to Rodney O'Neal, the CEO of Delphi, urging him to find a way to protect Delphi workers' promised healthcare and retirement benefits. In July 2010, Donnelly submitted testimony for the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations' field hearing, "After the Financial Crisis: Ongoing Challenges Facing Delphi Retirees." Donnelly's testimony included a request that information regarding the federal government's role in the Delphi salaried pensions be made public and that the Treasury Department, PBGC, and the Auto Task Force work with DSRA to pursue fair treatment of all Delphi retirees. Donnelly also sent two letters to the Committee on Ways and Means requesting an extension of the Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) for Delphi retirees. The HCTC was extended through January 2014.
The full text of Donnelly's letter to the Treasury Department and PBGC is below.
September 18, 2012
The Honorable Timothy Geithner
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20220
The Honorable Joshua Gotbaum
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
1200 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Dear Secretary Geithner and Director Gotbaum,
I am requesting full transparency from the Treasury Department and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on all affairs related to the termination of Delphi salaried retiree pensions. While I fully support the measures undertaken by the federal government in order to secure the future of the American automotive industry, I also believe that the federal government's role in any decisions related the termination of the Delphi salaried retirees' pensions should be made public.
While ensuring that Delphi and our automotive companies emerged from bankruptcy has ensured that the automotive industry continues to be a major employer in Indiana, and should be for decades to come, protecting the financial well-being of all retirees is also important.
As I am sure you are aware, the Delphi salaried retirees in my district--many of whom were GM employees for the majority of their careers--have experienced pension benefit cuts as much as 70 percent. These workers dedicated their careers to making Delphi a global leader in mobile electronics and transportation systems, and while the American automotive industry has been experiencing recent financial success, these retirees are faced with significant financial difficulty and uncertainty.
I am also requesting that the Treasury and PBGC fully consider the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association's (DSRA) proposal for restoring their lost pension benefits and that the Treasury Department and PBGC agree to meet with DSRA to resolve the future of Delphi salaried retirees' pensions. The federal government's commitment to the automotive industry should include working with the DSRA in pursuit of fair treatment of all Delphi retirees.
Thank you for the consideration of these requests. I ask that you reply in writing, so that I may provide the latest information to those Hoosiers in north central Indiana who have been adversely affected by the termination of Delphi's salaried retiree pensions.
Member of Congress