Almost half of the nation’s 20 largest unions have pension funds that federal law classifies as “endangered” or in “critical” condition due to being underfunded, an Examiner review of federal actuarial reports shows.A combination of factors led up to the woeful state that union pensions are in, not the least of which are fraud and mismanagement. The funds are in such a sorry state that there is talk that taxpayers will once again be asked to empty their pockets in order to bailout yet another Democratic voting block. Now the rest of us, when faced with a shortage of funds, cut back on non-essential spending. Wouldn’t it make sense for the unions to do the same thing rather than expecting others to bail them out? Which brings me to this from The Wall Street Journal:
Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered “endangered,” while those that fall below a 65 percent threshold are classified as “critical” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Unions are required to file 5500 forms that record the financial health of their retirement plans, show that union pension funds have lost their financial footing over the past several years.
Eight of the largest unions have underfunded plans, according to the most recent 5500 reports, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Laborers International Union of Northern America, the International Association of Machinists, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the National Plumbers Union.
The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Less than one in every 160 workers is covered by a union pension with required assets.
The leaders of the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union have agreed to coordinate spending millions of dollars in the midterm elections to support pro-union candidates, most of them Democrats.It would appear that the unions have plenty of money when it comes to purchasing congressman but they are broke when comes to paying members who have dedicated a life time of service (and dues). What am I missing here?
The two labor organizations say they have a combined $88 million or more to deploy in this year's election cycle. It's not clear how much of that money they will pool together.
The renewed alliance between the two big labor groups comes as Democrats are battling to retain control of both houses of Congress. The AFL-CIO and SEIU plan to target elections in 26 states, all but five of which they consider battleground territory, including California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Most of the unions' cash will be spent on behalf of Democrats, despite dissatisfaction among some union leaders and their members with the results of two years of Democratic control in Washington. While labor officials say unions haven't received everything they've wanted from the administration, they blame Republicans and some Democrats for blocking legislative progress.