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N.D.Teamsters decry potential pension cuts; Stock Market, & to Many Retired Members are to Blame

Teamsters from North Dakota traveled to Minneapolis on Monday to voice concerns about a potential 50 percent cut to their pension plans.

On Sept. 25, the Central States Pension Fund, which benefits a number of Teamsters in North Dakota as well as other states, filed an application with the U.S. Department of the Treasury for a rescue plan under the Multi-employer Pension Reform Act of 2014. 

Tony Goetzfried, 70, of Mandan, started driving trucks and served as the local Teamsters business agent for 20 years. He said the plan was lucrative and had a lot of money for years.

“Well, things changed,” he said. “Consequently, we’re not completely sound.”

Teamsters Local 638 business agent Jeff Diede said the decline of the stock market and the 2008 recession, along with more retired than active members, as well as companies that went bankrupt without completing their financial obligations, has put the fund into its present state. Now, should the Treasury Department approve it, Teamsters are facing 50 percent cuts to their once-guaranteed pensions.