WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reintroduced legislation to protect the hard-earned healthcare coverage and retirement security of Ohio coal miners. Brown has worked on the Miners Protection Act for several years and fought in December for a long-term solution to honor the promise to our nation’s miners.
“Ohio coal miners sacrificed their backs and lungs for the promise they’d have a nest egg to retire and healthcare if they got sick. It’s up to us to ensure that these workers and their families receive the full benefits they earned over a lifetime of backbreaking work,” said Brown.
The UMWA’s 1974 pension plan was 94 percent funded prior to 2008. Due to many factors including the financial crisis and fewer active workers, the plan is now severely underfunded – putting the health care and benefits of retirees in jeopardy. If the plan becomes insolvent, retirees could see reductions in their monthly pension checks. Brown is an original cosponsor of the Miners Protection Act to address the shortfall in the UMWA 1974 pension plan.
In December, the Senate passed a continuing resolution that included a four-month proposal to fund retired miners’ healthcare for the duration of the continuing resolution, which ends in April. Brown and his colleagues fought to include the long-term solution in the bill.