With many Ohio pension plans hanging in the balance, Senator Sherrod Brown has proposed a bill that he says will make sure retirees receive their promised pensions for decades to come.
It is called the “Butch Lewis Act” after the late Butch Lewis who worked as a trucker.
Senator Brown believes that retirees in Ohio are entitled to the pensions they were promised and paid into for years, but he fears due to cuts, they may not receive the full amount.
Rita Lewis says if her late husband’s pension were to be cut, her life would be drastically affected.
“The biggest thing of all is I don’t know how I would afford medication. I don’t know what I would do. I would hold off on going to the doctor. I was supposed to retire with my husband on my 65th birthday this April. I’ll never be able to retire,” said Lewis.
The “Butch Lewis Act” would allow the government to issue bonds and then later resell the bonds with hopes that in time, enough revenue would be generated to honor retiree pensions.
Senator Brown says this would prevent any cuts to benefits retirees have earned and would protect today’s workers.
“We also know that if we do this bill right, and we’ve checked it through actuary tables and all that, that this will sustain over the next several decades. It’s not a one time fix for five years for people Rita and I’s age. It’s a fix long term, and that’s why we wrote it the way we did,” said Senator Brown.
Brown says if the government does nothing, taxpayers would be on the hook for these failed pensions, as the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation would pick up the slack.
Rita Lewis will be joining Senator Brown as his guest to the State of the Union address as they push for the passage of this bill.