Heitkamp, Smith give update on pension crisis
FARGO—U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Tina Smith, D-Minn., joined more than 80 workers and retirees in Fargo on Saturday, May 12, to provide updated information following the second meeting of a House and Senate Joint Select Committee tasked with solving the crisis facing pension plans across the country.
According to a statement released by Heitkamp's office, without action from congress, 400,000 pension fund participants across the country who paid into Central States Pension Fund, as well as 1.5 million retirees nationwide who are part of various pension funds, will see their pensions drastically cut.
The affected include 2,000 North Dakotans and 22,000 Minnesotans.
Heitkamp and Smith encouraged those impacted by the pension crisis to send their feedback to a new inbox created by the committee, which is gathering input about current challenges related to the crisis as the group works to craft a legislative solution by the end of the year.
Workers, retirees, and businesses can send their suggestions and ideas via email to: JSCSMPP@finance.senate.gov.
Suggestions and ideas will be accepted until Sept. 30.
"Across North Dakota and the United States, hundreds of thousands of workers and retirees worked hard to provide for their families long into the future and did everything right," Heitkamp said in a written statement.
"If we don't address the issues facing our multiemployer pensions, these North Dakotans could see their retirement security disappear, small businesses across the state could plunge into bankruptcy, and taxpayers could be left on the hook to deal with the mess," Heitkamp added.
All submissions to the committee's feedback inbox will be considered part of the public record.
They should be clear and concise; directed at the issues that the Joint Select Committee is charged to consider; and provided in the form of an email attachment, either in Microsoft Word, or text-searchable PDF file.