July 25, 2019


Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), former Member of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, led 30 Senators in reintroducing the Butch Lewis Act in the Senate as the House of Representatives passed the bill last night. The Butch Lewis Act would address the pension crisis threatening the retirement of more than 1.3 million workers and retirees nationwide and putting small businesses across the country in jeopardy.

“I firmly believe that no one should be denied their pension because their employer goes bankrupt. Hardworking men and women across this country go to work every day for years, paying into these pension plans each paycheck with the expectation, that one day they can retire and continue to provide for their families. They gave up raises and bonuses during their working years for the promise of peace of mind in their golden years, but here they are, finally ready to collect, and there’s no one home. Sadly, in West Virginia, we are far too familiar with coal companies breaking their promises and leaving their workers out to dry,” said Senator Manchin. “I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce this legislation to make sure that workers’ pensions are protected, and I encourage Senator McConnell follow the House’s lead and put this bill up for a vote.” 

The Butch Lewis Act would: Create a loan program to allow failing pensions plans to borrow the money they need to put plans back on solid ground and ensure they can meet their commitments to retirees and workers for decades to come. By putting the plans back on solid footing, the bill would also protect small businesses from the threat of closing their doors if plans are allowed to fail. The bill would solve the pension crisis without cutting benefits retirees have earned, and it would put safeguards in place to encourage pensions to remain strong so they can be there for today’s workers when they retire.