Biden releasing nearly $36B to aid pensions of union workers

FILE- President Joe Biden speaks at Max S. Hayes Hight School, July 6, 2022, in Cleveland. Biden  is announcing the release of nearly $36 billion to shore up a financially troubled union pension plan. The federal aid is intended to stop severe cuts to the retirement incomes of more than 350,000 Teamsters workers and retirees. Biden’s administration says it’s the largest-ever federal payment to a union pension fund. The money for the Central States Pension Fund is part of a broader $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that Biden signed into law in 2021. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)

President Joe Biden on Thursday is announcing the infusion of nearly $36 billion to shore up a financially troubled union pension plan, preventing severe cuts to the retirement incomes of more than 350,000 Teamster workers and retirees across the United States.

The money for the Central States Pension Fund is the largest amount of federal aid provided for a pension plan, the Biden administration said, and comes from the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that he signed into law in 2021.

Many union retirement plans have been under financial pressure because of underfunding and other issues. Without the federal assistance, Teamster members could have seen their benefits reduced by an average of 60% starting within a couple of years.

“Union workers and their families are finally able to breathe a huge sigh of relief, knowing that their hard-earned retirement savings have been rescued from steep cuts,” said Lisa Gomez, assistant labor secretary for employee benefits security.

Multiemployer pension funds are created by agreements between unions and companies and are partially insured by the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The insurance program was on track to become insolvent in 2026, but the pandemic relief money is expected to keep it on firm footing through 2051.

Biden traveled to Ohio in July to highlight the final rules for the pension relief program. Before Thursday, the program had awarded aid to 36 troubled pension plans, but none of those had received more than about $1.2 billion.

The amount going to the Central States Pension Fund represents somewhere between one-third and one-half of the total estimated cost of the federal aid program.

The retirement plan has participants in almost every state, with the largest concentration in the Midwest. There are about 40,000 participants in both Michigan and Ohio, nearly 28,000 in Missouri, 25,000 in Illinois and about 22,000 each in Texas and Wisconsin, according to figures provided by the White House.

2022 is nearly in the books, and for many investors turning the page to a new year can’t come soon enough. Will 2023 be better for stocks? If history is a guide it will be.

In the 12 months following mid-term elections (the elections held in the middle of a president’s four-year term), stocks have performed well. This is typically because mid-term elections tend not to go well for the party that sits in the White House.

The reasons for that trend are not something that’s in our wheelhouse. We’re just looking at what it means for stocks. And what it suggests is that next year the markets could see a strong recovery…at some point. But as is frequently the case, you have to be in the right stocks.  

That’s the focus of this special presentation. We’re taking a look at seven stocks that have a strong case to be made for growth in the coming year. And some of these stocks are offering a good entry point for investors right now.

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