When General Motors filed for bankruptcy during the Great Recession, retired workers with the company Delphi lost the retirement they earned. Washington bailed out Wall Street, but too many Americans like them were left on their own. It’s why I’ve been fighting to restore these pensions for more than a decade.
After years of effort by workers and retirees in Ohio and Michigan, it’s time to restore full retirement benefits for more than 5,000 Ohioans and 20,000 Delphi Salaried Retirees across the country.
This year, I reintroduced legislation with Congressman Tim Ryan, Senator Rob Portman, and other colleagues to save these pensions. The Susan Muffley Act would restore the terminated pensions, making the retirees’ benefits whole. It would make up the difference between the pension benefits earned by Delphi Salaried Retirees and what they received following the GM bankruptcy.
We renamed the bill in honor of Susan Muffley, a Delphi retiree who was so cash-strapped after losing her pension, she avoided seeing her doctor. She passed away far too early as a result.
I have been fighting for Delphi retirees and urging the U.S. Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) to do the right thing since 2009. I thought we had this problem solved years ago, when I blocked President Obama’s nominee, Josh Gotbaum, to head the PBGC. We hoped that would signal to the Administration that we were serious.
Unfortunately, he got the job anyway, and drastic cuts were forced on these retired workers. But we kept fighting, and these retirees never gave up.
The House finally passed our legislation to restore these retirees’ full benefits. The White House has also signaled its support for this bill. Now, I will keep fighting to get this passed in the Senate and overcome some Republicans’ opposition, so we can get it to the president’s desk.
These Ohioans and workers across the Midwest earned their pensions. It is far past time to restore them.