Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2016
My name is Joe Mahoney and I am a pensioner with the NYS Teamsters Pension Fund and a former member of the Teamsters Local 317 in Syracuse, NY. I retired from UPS in March, 2005 after 33 years of service, both part time and full time.
I was told by my pension fund that I should retire because if I continued working I would only be making an amount of $15.00 more per week taking into account ALL of my overtime pay and hourly wages for a period of at least 9 years before I would begin to see any gain in wages that would put me beyond the amount I would get by retiring at an early age of 53.
I was not ready to retire, but do the math! It did not make any sense at the time to continue on by working a 40+ work week with crazy hours that could fluctuate +/- 8 hours within a one month period of time. I chose to take the retirement option at age 53. At the time of my retirement I was told by the officers of my pension fund that my benefit could not be reduced by any means. It was guaranteed!! I have it in writing!!!
For the past 5 years since 2010, I have been recieving yearly statements from the pension fund that the fund is in critical status. I called the pension fund officials and inquired of the officers there exactly what the critical status meant.
I was told by the officers of the Pension Fund that they were required by the Treasury Department to send out the notification because the fund could potentially run out of funds in 2029 based on projection guidelines set up by the Treasury Department.
I was assured by the officers I talked to that the pension fund was fully viable and that there was really nothing to be concerned about. The officers were just following the guidelines set forth by the Treasury Department in regards to reporting fund status but the officers expected to have a full recovery well before any problems arose with benefits.
In January, 2016, I recieved a letter from my pension fund stating that they are in critical status and will be starting the procedure to file changes to the pension fund as allowed under the Kline-Miller Act of 2014. My pension fund is stating that under the current conditions, they will run out of money in November, 2035. That is 19.95 years from NOW!!! SO WHAT! you say?
During the late 1980's, We , the general members of the NYS Teamsters Locals, sued the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters to take over our Pension Fund. We won the lawsuit and elected our own trustees.
We, the members, voted on and approved of the use of various financial firms to control the investing of the pension fund assets and WE MADE BILLIONS of dollars in a 10 year period. BILLIONS!!! We have the audit information!!
In 2000, we were audited by the Treasury Department and they stated that we were OVERFUNDED!!! We were forced to reorganize the way the pension fund was set up. If we did not, we would be fined by the Treasury Department for Millions of Dollars on a monthly basis until we complied with their terms.
We were audited THREE times! 2000, 2002, 2004 and each of those times we were forced to restructure our SECURED ASSETS and diversify them to satisfy the demands of the Federal Treasury Department. We had enough money in our secured assets to get us through the Wall street crash of 2008 if the Treasury department had left us ALONE!!!!
We would not be in the condition that we are in! IT IS THE FAULT OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND THEIR INTERFEREANCE WITH THESE AUDITS THAT HAS PLACED MY PENSION FUND IN JEOPARDY. IT IS THEIR FAULT, AND THEY SHOULD MAKE IT RIGHT!
We, the retirees of the NYS Pension Fund are proceeding to hire our own lawyers that specialize in Pension Funds to pursue all legal avenues to regain the funds that we lost. We are getting no help from our locals or the pension fund. We are paying for this out of our own pockets.
We have done this before, and we have won every time! When the UPS Retiree Health Benefits began to milk the retirees out of $400.00 per month for every household member covered, we hired attorneys that took them on and WE WON!!!
I urge you ALL, look into ALL aspects of the business procedures of your pension funds. DO NOT LET THIS PASS YOU BY!!!! I urge you all to start communications with each other as soon as possible. Get as many people as you can involved with a letter campaign to the House of Representatives, Congress and the NEWS MEDIA.
THIS HAS TO BE DONE NOW!!!!!
You can gain contact with me at Villagerjjm@embarqmail.com
Thank you for your time.
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