In Brief

Ailing North Jersey pension gets $334 million in federal aid

By: - September 7, 2023 6:21 pm

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez said people who played by the rules and provided for their families “deserve to live in your golden years free from financial hardship.” (Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor’s Office)

A private North Jersey pension plan facing insolvency will receive $334 million in federal stabilization aid, federal officials and members of the state’s congressional delegation announced Thursday.

The money will replenish the pension fund of Teamsters Local 863, which represents a range of food service, warehousing, and trucking workers, among a range of others. Those workers faced cuts to their retirement benefits in 2024 when the pension fund was headed toward insolvency.

“If you played by the rules and provided for your family, you deserve to live in your golden years free from financial hardship,” U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat, said on a press call Thursday.

The funds will shore up retirement benefits for 2,487 active and retired workers who faced benefit cuts of up to 75% if the pension plan became insolvent, said Gordon Hartogensis, director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which provided the funds through its special financial assistance program.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. takes over and stabilizes troubled pension plans. While its operations are typically funded by insurance premiums and other revenue from its managed funds, the special financial assistance program is funded by taxpayer money made available by the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

The $334 million award is meant to keep the local’s pensions solvent through 2051.

“These are workers or retirees that could have seen a cut in their pensions of up to 75%,” Gene Sperling, a senior advisor to President Joe Biden, told reporters. “There’s few things that are so profound for the quality and dignity of a person’s life and retirement as this program.”


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Nikita Biryukov
Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov most recently covered state government and politics for the New Jersey Globe. His tenure there included revelatory stories on marijuana legalization, voting reform and Rep. Jeff Van Drew's decamp to the Republican Party. Earlier, he worked as a freelancer for The Home News Tribune and The Press of Atlantic City.