Co-chairing with Brown is Sen. Orrin Hatch, R–Utah.
At issue are multi–employer pensions created in order to allow employers to pool resources and provide their workers retirement security. The plans, negotiated by a union, are run by trustees selected by the union and employers. For years, most multi–employer plans ran at a surplus.
But market crashes between 2000 and 2009, corporate bankruptcies and new laws have rendered many plans virtually unsalvageable. While some 10 million workers are served by 1,400 multi–employer plans nationwide, some 150 to 200 plans, covering 1.5 million workers and retirees, could run out of money within the next 20 years, according to the Pension Rights Center.
Central States, among the pension programs most in danger, claims some 50,000 members in Ohio.