WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – President Joe Biden is spotlighting a major push to save pensions.
The president spoke in front of a crowd of union workers in Ohio on Wednesday, promising retirement security.
“With today’s actions, millions of workers will have the dignified retirement they earned and they deserve,” Biden said.
His team is implementing an American Rescue Plan measure to fund struggling union pension plans. Senior Advisor Gene Sperling says that means millions of workers will get their full retirement benefits at a time when they have been slashed or threatened.
“These workers who’ve devoted 20, 30, 40 years of their life, this will be game-changing,” Sperling said.
There are concerns about how much the pension relief costs and some critics worry it doesn’t address the problems that put pensions at risk in the first place.
Rachel Greszler, a Heritage Foundation Economist, criticized the move.
“The notion that Democrats and the administration are saving these private union pension plans by forcing ordinary Americans to pay for them is just dead wrong,” Greszler said.
She argues the government should reform the system, rather than give it what she sees as a taxpayer-funded bailout.
“Instead of penalizing the bad actors and putting in place rules that will actually fix the system going forward, it is literally handing over tens of billions of dollars to the people that ran those plans into the ground,” Greszler said.
This measure also only funds a portion of pension plans and only lasts until 2051. Greszler believes officials are just kicking the can down the road.
“There will have to be future bailouts if they don’t fix the rules now,” Greszler said.
Sperling agrees the system may need reforms in the future, but says retirees deserve help now.
“Not just letting those folks take a harsh hit when they’ve done nothing but work hard their whole lives,” Sperling said.