Portman, Colleagues Send Letter to Treasury, Commerce, and Labor Requesting Answers for Delphi Salaried Retirees
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) along with Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Todd Young (R-IN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter to Secretaries of the Treasury, Commerce, and Labor requesting a status update regarding the review of Delphi pension plans requested by former President Trump on October 20, 2020.
“In 2009, the Delphi Salaried Pension Plan was unfairly terminated. This unfair action devastated the long-term financial security of the nearly 6,000 salaried employees at Delphi whose benefits were reduced by up to 70 percent. These employees deserve the benefits they have earned,” said the senators. “As of June 10, 2020, we have not seen this report or have been made aware of its completion. We understand this review was due on January 20, 2021 – before you assumed your current roles. We believe it is important that Congress still have the opportunity to review the recommendations provided by your agencies.”
Last October, executive action was signed by former President Trump to assist the Delphi salaried retirees. The Delphi Salaried Pension Plan (Plan) includes approximately 20,000 participants, including more than 5,000 Ohioans. The Plan was terminated in 2009 by the Obama administration as part of the auto bailouts, and salaried employees experienced benefit reductions of up to 70 percent. Former President Trump’s executive action directs the secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Treasury to review whether the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation can restore their full pensions and provide more transparency on the decision to terminate their pensions.
The letter is available here and the text of the letter is available below.
Dear Secretary Yellen, Secretary Raimondo, and Secretary Walsh:
We write to inquire into the status of the report of the Delphi salaried retirees terminated pensions, and the recommendations from you and your respective agencies, as requested by the Memorandum from the President on Pensions of Delphi Corporation Retirees and Other Retirees Covered by Vulnerable Pension Plans, issued by President Donald J. Trump on October 22, 2020. Specifically, this presidential memorandum requests that the Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Commerce, and Secretary of Labor review the Delphi pension matter and inform the President of any appropriate actions that may be taken to address the lost pension benefits, including potential legislation, and to bring additional transparency to the original decision to terminate the plan.
In 2009, the Delphi Salaried Pension Plan was unfairly terminated. This unfair action devastated the long-term financial security of the nearly 6,000 salaried employees at Delphi whose benefits were reduced by up to 70 percent. These employees deserve the benefits they have earned.
As of June 10, 2020, we have not seen this report or have been made aware of its completion. We understand this review was due on January 20, 2021 – before you assumed your current roles. We believe it is important that Congress still have the opportunity to review the recommendations provided by your agencies.
As such, we ask you to provide us with an update on the status of the report. Specifically, we ask you to inform us when work on this report commenced, when you expect this report to be completed, and when Congress can expect to receive a copy for review. Please know that we stand ready to work with you to ensure the Delphi retirees, and all American workers can be secure in the benefits they have earned.
NOTE: Portman has worked for years to help Delphi retirees on both their pension and health care issues. Since 2011, Portman has helped shepherd through bipartisan legislation to extend the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), which helps Delphi retirees. Portman and Brown worked together to extend this tax credit in 2011 and again in 2015. Last Congress, Portman and Brown introduced a five-year extension of the HCTC to give these retirees stable, guaranteed health coverage. The HCTC reduces the cost of maintaining health insurance coverage for a number of individuals that are either receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits or are over the age of 55 and under the age of 65 whose pensions were terminated and are being administered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.