LATEST: House passes Delphi pensions bill

Sen. Brown said he hopes to bring it to Senate floor as early as Thursday.

The House of Representatives passed a bill restoring the full pensions of Delphi salaried retirees Wednesday afternoon.

The House passed the Susan Muffley Act of 2022, to retroactively restore the pensions of perhaps 2,000 Dayton-area Delphi retirees — former managers, designers and engineers who had their pensions reduced in the wake of Delphi’s bankruptcy in 2009.

“This is the best news, the best day we’ve had in 13 years,” Mary Miller, a Delphi retiree who lives in Washington Twp., said Wednesday before the vote. “We have to see this through.”

“People are working as hard today as they were 13 years ago on this, in some cases harder,” said Tom Rose, also a Delphi salaried retiree from Washington Twp.

Now the bill heads to the Senate. In a phone press conference Wednesday, Sen. Sherrod Brown said he will bring the bill up as early as Thursday.

Brown said that if he gets floor time, he hopes to achieve unanimous consent after checking with leaders of both parties. His goal is to see it immediately passed and sent it to President Biden’s desk.

“I’m hopeful there will be no objections,” Brown said Wednesday.

Sen. Rob Portman, Brown’s Ohio counterpart, is a co-sponsor and supports the bill, Brown noted.

Turner, R-Dayton, who helped introduce the bill in the House, said he hoped for a quick resolution.

“If we get this bill out of the House, we don’t know what the Senate negotiations will be, but having the president … weighed in and knowing that he will sign the bill if we get it to his desk, gives greater impetus for the Senate to take action,” Turner said.

The bill requires the U.S. Treasury to make up the difference between the partial pensions paid by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. — the government-based insurer of last resort for private retirement plans — and what salaried Delphi retirees understood they were always owed, plus interest.

Salaried retirees saw their pensions diminished greatly when the PBGC assumed control of the pensions in 2009, reduced by up to 70% in some cases, all while GM continued to support the pensions of hourly, union-represented Delphi workers.

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“All of a sudden the bottom fell out,” Bruce Gump, chair of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association, said in Brown’s press call. “The government intervened, and there were choices made that left the salaried (retirees) out.”

Salaried retirees like Gump asked for the same pension support that union members received. The AFL-CIO union recently endorsed the legislation.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated Tuesday that passage of the bill would require $750 million in new outlays from this year to 2027. The Office of Management and Budget tweeted Friday that the Biden administration supports the bill.

Once a large Dayton-area employer owned by General Motors, Delphi is now known as Aptiv PLC, an auto technology company based in Ireland.

Susan Muffley was a Delphi retiree who lived in Russiaville, Ind. She died in 2012 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, according to the DSRA.

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