Hold Companies Liable for Pensions

Editor, News-Register:

In reference to the article, “Senators Introduce Miner Pension Bill,” I’m completely baffled that in 20th & 21st Century U.S., companies are allowed to ignore their contracted pension fund payments year after year, and nobody who can do anything about it says boo. Then some years down the road they trash the pension fund/plan altogether: Oh, sorry, we’re $2 trillion in debt and nobody knows how it happened.

Employees normally receive substantially less from PBGC than they would have with a company pension. Oh, we also took all the pension funds, but it wasn’t enough to cover our debts. This time someone notices, but it’s a bit too late to completely correct things.

Pension fund payments should be in same category as federal tax and Social Security payments. Let a company skip those for a few years and see where their chief honchos wind up. They should end up in the same place for pension fund payment delinquencies. If this were enforced, there would be no fund trashing.

The chiefs never see the pension fund fiasco coming, but they always see their multimillion-dollar annual salary coming. Along with all its extra goodies, all because they performed so wondrously, while sticking it to the employees.

The following, if made law (forget lawyers, for now), may provide a negative incentive to those considering short changing a pension fund: Make responsible persons file bankruptcy just as any “average” person would. The chiefs could retain maximum assets allowed by law, with remainder transferred to pension fund.

While fat cat millionaires enjoy the good life luxuriating in Bahamas in their fourth home, shuffling back and forth to their fifth home in the Caiman Islands, their former employees are enjoying the lousy life back home.

James R. Wisialowski