McKinley: “Finish Line on Miners Pension Fix In Sight”

Year-End Deal Includes Permanent Solution for Threatened UMWA Pension and Retiree Health Care?

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Washington, December 16, 2019 | comments
Today, Representative David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) praised the inclusion of an agreement to protect pension and health care benefits for retired miners in the year-end spending bill. The provision mirrors bipartisan legislation he introduced in the House.

“After years of work to protect the pensions and health care earned by retired miners, the finish line is in sight,” said McKinley. “By the end of the week Congress will finally provide peace of mind to the 100,000 retirees, widows, and families who depend on the UMWA pension fund.”

“This agreement to keep the promise to our retired miners comes as a result of a years-long bipartisan effort that I have been proud to lead in the House,” added McKinley. “Working alongside Senators Capito and Manchin and the United Mine Workers, we have kept this issue front and center. I look forward to this agreement passing the House and Senate later this week and being signed into law.”    


Background

Since 2013, McKinley has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect pensions and health care benefits for more than 100,000 United Mine Workers Association (UMWA) retirees and family members.

  • In July 2019, McKinley testified in front of the House Natural Recourses Committee on the importance of his legislation, the  Miners Pension Protection Act  (H.R. 935). To watch his testimony, click here.  Rep. David McKinley(R-W.Va.) and UMWA President Cecil Roberts also published an op-ed on the importance of protecting miners’ pensions in the Hill. To read the full op-ed click here 
  • In March 2019, McKinley spoke with coal-miners and supporters in Washington and call for legislative action to protect pensions for around 100,000 United Mine Workers Association (WMWA) retirees and family members. To view the full video of the press conference, click here.
  • In July 2018, McKinley led a letter to the leadership of the Joint Select Committee on Multi-Employer Pension Plans, urging them to address the looming insolvency of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) 1974 Pension Plan. The bipartisan letter was signed by 25 Members of Congress. To read the letter click here.
  • In February 2018, Congress formed the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multi-Employer Pension Plans, a committee designated to find a funding solution for the looming multi-employer pension crisis. The Select Committee failed to produce a proposal.
  • In October 2017, Rep. McKinley introduced the American Miners Pension Act, legislation that would stabilize the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan.
  • In May 2017, Rep. McKinley helped secure permanent funding to save the health care benefits for retired miners. As a result, 22,000 retired coal miners and their families were able to maintain their health benefits.
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