The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund has come a long way since it was started by a handful Teamsters in the brewery industry in 1955 with $500,000. Today the fund remains strongly in the green zone with nearly $37 billion in assets and is the largest multi-employer defined benefit pension plan in the United States.
At present, more than two thousand Local 856 active members enjoy employer-paid contributions to their WCT pension — contributions that were negotiated and are guaranteed through their collectively bargained Teamster contracts.
“The Trust’s financial position is strong, and we have every reason to believe it will be for the next sixty years,” said Chuck Mack, Union Chairman of the WCT Pension Plan.
The longevity and strength of the plan is remarkable considering its humble beginnings and the fact that it has outlived such financial institutions such as Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Sterns.
In December of 1957, there were 271 retirees collecting benefits — today there are 590,000 plan participants who can count on a defined benefit pension thanks to strong contracts and the WCT Pension Plan. These participants include 157 people over the age of 100 and 1,260 over the age of 95!
Recently, multi-employer pension funds have come under attack by right wing think tanks, and a new law, the Multi-Employer Pension Reform Act, or “MPRA” was passed last year. However, MPRA only applies to plans that are deeply troubled, seriously underfunded, or in a declining state – the WCT Pension Plan has never been any of these things. The WCT Pension Plan is not impacted by other trusts, and MPRA reductions do not apply to WCT Pension Plan participants. Find out more about the WCTPF’s 60th Anniversary Here