WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-17) today introduced legislation that would restore the full pensions of Delphi retirees. The bill would transfer certain proceeds from the sale of government stock of General Motors to a fund at the U.S. Treasury Department that would supplement payment to the Delphi retirees.
“Thousands of retirees in Ohio dedicated their careers to working for Delphi and General Motors, but many of these retirees have yet to receive the pensions they earned and deserve,” Brown said. “Solutions to restore these pensions are long overdue. It’s time to put politics aside on this issue. Instead of assigning blame for the problem, we should be working together to advance all solutions that may help restore pensions to Delphi retirees. Using proceeds from sale of government’s stake in GM is one of many parallel avenues I’ve been pursuing on behalf of Delphi retirees.”
“Delphi’s salaried employees were innocent victims of the financial crisis, and I have been working to find a solution for them that is fair and economically responsible,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “The legislation that we are introducing today will provide the pension relief for Delphi salaried retirees and others not covered under previous agreements. Both Senator Brown and I have supported this effort and believe that the time for a resolution of this problem is right now. This bill deserves a ‘fast track’ to passage and support from both sides of the aisle. I know the pain these families are going through, and I call on Speaker Boehner to bring this bill up immediately and to put the full weight of his Speakership behind it.”
In 2009, Delphi’s bankruptcy cost approximately 19,000 hourly retirees and 20,000 salaried retirees their full pensions after the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) assumed Delphi’s pension plans. While three unions representing hourly Delphi retirees had reached contractual agreements with General Motors to ensure full pension protection – negotiated in 1999 and reaffirmed in 2007 – the remaining workers had not.
Brown has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of the retirees since the restructuring of General Motors in 2009. He blocked the full Senate's confirmation of President Obama's nominee to the PBGC because of concerns about the administration of Delphi's terminated pension plans. As a result, the PBGC met several times with the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association (DSRA). Brown also successfully fought for the extension of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) for Delphi retirees through 2014. The HCTC is a significant tax rebate on health care coverage for qualified workers and retirees. While the DSRA is in active litigation with the PBGC, Brown is still maintaining pressure on the Obama Administration to ensure these pensions are restored and Delphi retirees receive the pensions they earned. Brown and Ryan have also been supportive of the efforts of salaried retirees seeking a proposed settlement, and have been working to request that the Obama Administration give that proposal consideration. The bill would not interfere with pending litigation regarding the Delphi pensions, and the legislation is one proposal to ensure that Delphi retirees are fairly compensated.
Below is a timeline of Brown and Ryan’s work to defend Delphi retirees.