Around 150 retired truck drivers gathered at the Capitol Thursday to protest a plan that could cut their retirement pensions in half.
The Central States Pension Fund, which is responsible for providing pensions to retired truck drivers, or Teamsters, has made a plan to cut these pensions in order to prevent the company from shutting down.
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Jerry Kopczynski, a protester from Franklin, said while he understands the Central States Pension Fund needs to fix the funds it messed up, he said cutting people’s pensions isn’t a fair way to do it.
The reason the protesters were at the Capitol was to urge state legislators and Gov. Scott Walker to stand against the federal legislation, Dale Dobbs, event organizer and Committees to Protect Pensions spokesperson, said. There are 60 committees throughout the U.S. standing together for the same purpose of preventing the pension cuts, Dobbs said. If the legislation goes through, he said, Teamsters will experience their first cut July 1.
Bob Barockway, one of the retirees who was protesting, said $16,000 a year will be taken from his retirement, which is half of his pension.
“That money was mine and I earned it, and they should not take it away,” Barockway said.
Some retirees don’t even realize their pensions are being cut until they go to the bank and don’t have money left, Barockway added.
Kopczynski said some retirees’ pensions will be cut up to 70 percent.
Mark Hassemer, a protester from Manitowoc, said the Central States Pension Fund is going to strip him of money that he is entitled to.
“It’s the death of our retirement,” Hassemer said.
Dobbs said the cuts will prevent them from living their lives by putting their source of revenue in jeopardy.
Teamsters will also protest at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. April 14.