Pensions

Thousands of union workers and retirees rallied at the Ohio Statehouse on Thursday, July 12 all on Congress to pass a plan that saves their pensions.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Members of the U.S. Congress left Capitol Hill and held a special meeting in Columbus on the national pension crisis. Pension plans for more than one million union workers and retirees are in danger of collapse if something isn’t done soon. More than 60,000 Ohio workers could be impacted.

A large rally forms outside the Ohio Statehouse. Union workers and retirees call on Congress to pass a plan that saves their pensions. The rally is in anticipation of a special Congressional committee meeting to be held in Columbus on the issue.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Thousands of union workers and retirees flocked to the Statehouse from around the country. They’re rallying in Columbus for a fix to what they see as a national pension crisis – the day before a field hearing by a Congressional committee examining the issue.

The labor groups say, without a change, their funds will dry up.

Phil Smith of the United Mine Workers.
Nick Evans

Amid a congressional committee meeting in Columbus, union workers and retirees will rally at the Ohio Statehouse in an effort to push Congress to protect their pensions. Many worry a string of bankruptcies has put their retirements at risk.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Some 1.3 million retired unionized workers are facing a growing crisis surrounding underfunded pensions. With 60,000 of those workers in Ohio, it’s sure to be an issue in this year’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

Ohio U.S. Sentators Rob Portman, left, and Sherrod Brown.
Ideastream

A rare House and Senate committee is expected to hold its third hearing Thursday to try to figure how to save pensions for 1.5 million people. The Ohio Democrat who pushed for the bipartisan committee says even more is at stake.

Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

More than 100 Teamsters and other union retirees and active members crowded into a union hall in Canton Sunday morning to get an update from Sen. Sherrod Brown on what it may take to save their pensions. The crisis that could affect 60,000 Ohioans and a million-and-a-half workers and retirees.

Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

The Ohio Association of Public School Employees has filed a lawsuit to block a three-year cost of living freeze to retirement benefits.

Sherrod Brown

Sen. Sherrod Brown hopes to draw attention at tonight’s State of the Union address to a bill that would restore pension plans for a million members that are running out of money. 

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Congressional Democrats are hoping to include a rescue in the end-of-the-year spending package for several large union-based pensions that fund managers say are running out of money.   

Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

Unions representing retired school employees are putting pressure on Ohio lawmakers not to freeze or cut cost-of-living allowances in their pensions.

State pension systems are underfunded by more than a trillion dollars nationwide, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Taxpayers would have to make up that shortfall. But the study has some good news for Ohio.

Detroit After Bankruptcy

Dec 10, 2015

It has been almost a year since Detroit was bankrupt, and for the first time in years, the city has money to spend. Detroit has developed a four-year financial plan and reached a collective bargaining agreement with a major union, two targets the city agreed to under the bankruptcy. Although the city is obligated to pay almost nothing into employee pensions over the next nine years, an estimated $195 million pension payment could offset the city's recovery. 

When Ohio lawmakers return to the Statehouse, one of the first issues they'll tackle is what to do to make sure the state's pension funds stay on track for future employees who depend on them. But some public employees say they are already penalized by the system and want to make sure they are not the casualty of changes by state leaders. Click on the play button to hear the report.