Government paves way for benefit cuts for retirees in underfunded multiemployer pension plans

The government is paving the way for up to about 1 million people covered by underfunded multiemployer pension plans to face benefit cuts over the next few years.

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The move by the Treasury Department implements a new law that earned mixed reviews from the unions whose members are covered by such plans, including construction workers, Teamster truckers, and food service workers.

The Teamsters and AARP opposed the law when it passed last year as part of a government-wide spending bill. But other unions saw it as a solution preferable to plans becoming insolvent and getting a federal bailout.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew named attorney Kenneth Feinberg to review applications for fairness.

People 80 years old and over are protected from any upcoming cuts. Those over 75 get partial protection.