ongressman Dan Kildee, Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the passage of his bipartisan legislation, supported by Republicans and Democrats, to restore retirement benefits to over 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees, including over 5,000 in Michigan.
Congressman Kildee introduced this legislation, the Susan Muffley Act, in March. Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Kildee's legislation by a vote of 254-175, with 218 Democratic and 36 Republican votes.
"If you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to retire with dignity," said Congressman Kildee. "What happened to the Delphi salaried retirees is wrong. While the government rescued General Motors, these workers lost their pensions through no fault of their own. Congress has this opportunity to right this wrong. These hardworking retirees have waited too long to receive the benefits they earned, and I am proud the House passed my legislation today to fix this wrong."
Reps. Michael Turner (OH-10), Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) also championed this legislation in the House.
"With the passage of the Susan Muffley Act, Delphi Salaried Retirees are one step closer to receiving the full pensions they rightly earned," said Congressman Turner. "Delphi Salaried Retirees were unfairly stripped of their benefits and deserve proper compensation for their work in building America's economy. Congress must right this wrong and I will continue fighting for the more than 5,000 retirees in Ohio and those across the nation who have sought a fair resolution for the last 13 years."
"I have worked hard for over thirteen years and three Presidential Administrations to restore the pensions of the Delphi retirees and now this bipartisan legislation will provide them with the retirement benefits that they have always deserved," said Congressman Ryan. "No hardworking American should have to worry whether their employer will deliver the benefits they rightfully earned after a lifetime of hard work. I will continue to fight to ensure we deliver the retirement security that every hardworking American deserves. I hope my colleagues in the Senate can get this bill to the President's desk as soon as possible."
"The men and women who built up Delphi were made a promise in return for their years of hard work--they were promised a stable and secure retirement during their golden years. Over the years, the American worker has time and again seen these promises broken and the financial security that is rightfully theirs thrown away. Now, the Susan Muffley Act makes good on Delphi's original promise. By restoring their hard-earned benefits, the tens of thousands of retirees who worked to make and build America will have a better future--a future they had paid for and earned. In Defiance and Sandusky, Ohio--and across the Midwest and Industrial Heartland--the Susan Muffley Act is a giant step forward to make retirees whole," said Congresswoman Kaptur.
When General Motors (GM) filed for bankruptcy during the Great Recession, the U.S. Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) unfairly cut retirement benefits by as much as 70% for more than 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees. The PBGC assumed responsibility for the terminated benefits but could not pay an individual more than a statutory maximum benefit. Therefore, salaried retirees suffered significant losses to their benefits, with devastating impacts on many lives.
Congressman Kildee's legislation would restore the terminated pensions, making these hardworking retirees whole. This bill would make up the difference between the pension benefits earned by Delphi salaried retirees and what they received following the GM bankruptcy in 2009. Beneficiaries who have already begun receiving benefits will receive a lump sum payment of the difference between what was actually paid by PBGC and would have been paid without the limitations, plus 6% interest. To ease the tax burden, retirees may pay income taxes on this lump sum over three years. Moving forward, all beneficiaries will receive their full earned benefit.
There are over 20,000 affected Delphi retirees across the country, including:
New York: 2,337
North Carolina: 156
South Carolina: 147
Other States: 672
For years, Congressman Kildee has led the fight in Congress to restore pensions for Delphi salaried retirees, working across the aisle and pressing administration officials from both parties to do the right thing and make the Delphi salaried retirees pensions whole. Kildee helped form the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Delphi Pensions in 2013. In November 2021, Congressman Kildee signed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Delphi salaried retirees as they fought in court to restore their pensions. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, which means congressional action is now the only avenue for justice.
This year, in addition to introducing the Susan Muffley Act, Congressman Kildee introduced the Bob von Schwedler Permanent Health Coverage Tax Credit Expansion Act to permanently reauthorize a key health insurance program many Delphi salaried retirees rely on.