Retirement Security Is a Priority at Leading Building Trades Convention

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Social Security “provides a financial safety net for more than 47 million retirees and family members … and more than 11 million people with disabilities,” according to the Untied Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters, Welders and HVACR Technicians (UA), and should be fully protected and preserved.

The UA is 350,000 strong in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Ireland

As Baby Boomers retire, issues around retirement security will intensify significantly.

More than 3,000 delegates to the UA’s 39th General Convention, to be held in San Diego, CA, August 1-5, 2016, will discuss the protection of Social Security as well as other issues surrounding benefits for working people, as they gather to plan for the future.

Resolutions regarding Social Security note that “some politicians have targeted it for extreme cuts” through a variety of means, which would “bring extreme harm” to the many millions of Americans who rely on it. Resolutions call for the preservation and strengthening of Social Security “to the fullest extent possible.”

Other resolutions address proposals to oppose taxes on so-called “excess benefits.”    Such taxes could adversely impact certain UA plans that provide health coverage that exceeds a certain threshold, which could force such plans to choose between cutting benefits and raising deductibles, or paying an “unsustainable tax.”

“Union workers should not be penalized for negotiating good health care benefits by being subjected to special taxation,” according to the resolution, which calls for delegates to strongly oppose this tax.

Resolutions also address the strain that multi-employer plans have been under in recent years due to losses resulting from downturns in the economy and calls for efforts to protect these plans, such as the Multi-Employer Pension Reform Act of 2014. In particular, the resolutions request “support for additional legislation that would allow [plan] trustees to consider and adopt new and flexible plan designs.”

As more Baby Boomers retire, issues around retirement security will intensify significantly, and these resolutions attempt to address these issues and related concerns.

About the United Association

Founded in 1889, the United Association of Union Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters, Welders and HVACR Technicians (UA) is a multi-craft union whose members are engaged in the fabrication, installation and servicing of piping systems. There are over 410,000 members affiliated with the UA throughout North America, Australia, and Ireland, including over 340,000 UA members belonging to more than 300 local unions in the United States and Canada. The theme of the 39th General Convention is Built on Excellence.

***Media instructions: Any media wishing to cover the convention, which will be held at the San Diego Convention Center August 1-5, 2016, should contact Rick Terven, 410-269-2000. After August 1, media should contact Genie Ford, 703-298-7664, onsite contact during the convention.

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Rick Terven

Genie Ford
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