Letter: Composite pension plans better for workers

Re: Teamsters President James Hoffa’s Oct. 5 Labor Voices column “Two pension plans aren’t better than one”: Hoffa misleads readers.

Multiemployer composite pension plans are voluntary tools that bargaining parties can employ to strengthen retirement security — not two pension plans that weaken it. As employers continue to abandon traditional defined benefit pensions, composite plans provide a better alternative for workers than the current 401(k) option. Composite plans eliminate the disincentives of the current system, pay higher benefits than 401(k) plans by pooling longevity risk, and provide lifetime income and professional investment management, all at lower costs.

Despite claims to the contrary, composite plans actually strengthen legacy plans by removing obstacles to new employer participation.

There is a lot at stake for multiemployer pension participants but we can agree on two things: unfortunately, doing nothing is not an option, nor is counting on Congress to bail out our most troubled pension plans.

Composite plans put trustees and participants in control of their future. Isn’t that a better path toward a secure retirement?

Eric Dean, president

International Association of Bridge, Structural,

Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers