Sanders pushes to block pension cuts
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' What a Biden administration should look like Ocasio-Cortez: 'Trump is the racist visionary, but McConnell gets the job done' MORE (I-Vt.) is pushing for legislation that he says will bolster pensions for millions of Americans.  

Sanders, who has emerged as a top candidate against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, has joined Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) in introducing the Keep Our Pension Promises Act, which aims to strengthen multi-employer pension plans. 
 
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The legislation would reverse a provision, included in a spending bill passed last year, that allowed pension plans to cut retiree benefits in an effort to shore up the plans' finances. 
 
Sanders said during a rally outside the Capitol late last week that without a repeal of the provision, "retirees all over this country could see their pensions cut by 30 percent or more. We cannot let that happen." 
 
According to a fact sheet from Sanders' office, many multi-employer pension plans are underfunded or retirees have been "orphaned" after an employer left a plan or it went bankrupt.  
 
In an effort to guarantee benefits, Sanders' legislation would create a fund for "orphaned" retirees.  The fund would be offset by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy. 
 
Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters appeared alongside Sanders at his rally late last week. AARP has also backed the legislation. 
 
Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) have introduced a companion bill in the House.