Delphi retiree legislation moves toward possible passage

‘Christmas miracles do happen,’ supporter tells DDN

There was growing optimism Thursday that legislative language restoring the pensions of retired Delphi managers and engineers might soon be heading toward a final federal spending package.

The language was to be submitted Thursday, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Mike Turner said.

The amendment will go to the House Rules Committee. If that committee chooses the send to the amendment to the floor, it will be voted on when members vote on omnibus spending package amendments.

Bruce Gump, of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association, said Reps. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., and Daniel Kildee, D-Mich., added their support to submission of the legislation.

“Our issue is not a bailout — it is a recovery of the money the federal government took from us,” Gump said. “No other pension plan can request similar treatment because no other plan was terminated due to the involvement of the US Treasury.”

“Christmas miracles do happen,” he added in an email to the Dayton Daily News.

“In 2009, the government took away over 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees’ pensions and it is long past time to right that wrong,” Turner, a Dayton Republican, said in a statement. “For the last 13 years, I have joined Delphi retirees in challenging this injustice in Congress, at the Supreme Court, and directly to three U.S. presidents. Now is the best opportunity to pass the Susan Muffley Act and rightfully restore these pensions to Delphi retirees and their families.”

At midday Thursday, the Senate was nearing votes on the $1.65 trillion spending bill just ahead of a winter storm. It included provisions and amendments on defense spending, immigration, backing Ukraine against Russia and more.

The Delphi measure passed the House in July. Without Senate approval, the measure will have to be taken up anew in the next Congress.

Salaried retirees from a then-bankrupt Delphi saw their pensions diminished when the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. assumed control of the company’s pensions in 2009, reduced by up to 70% in some cases, all while General Motors, Delphi’s former owner, continued to support the pensions of hourly, union-represented Delphi workers.

The PBGC’s takeover of the pensions affected more than 20,000 salaried retirees nationwide — including over 5,000 in Ohio.

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