Yet unresolved Range pension issue coming into focus

I’m a few days behind on this, but it’s worth mentioning that a top official with the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation traveled to the Iron Range to reassure National Steel retirees who saw their pensions stripped down after the company declared bankruptcy in 2003. The PBGC pledge to fix the problem now enters its strongest phrasing yet. Fundamentally, the problem was mismanagement of the pension fund during the transfer. Some, but not all, retirees were completely screwed on this deal, paid a tiny fraction of their promised benefits.

The problems they find will have implications across the nation’s economy. Recent pensioners affected by the rash of consolidations from bankruptcies in the last 10 years already feel the pinch. There will be even more at stake as companies and perhaps even governments seek to shed legacy costs over the next 20 years. Further, this remains a big political issue on the Iron Range, particularly around my neighborhood on the western Mesabi.

(Story, WDIO-TV)


  1. A healthy number of longtime National employees continue to work at the plant (now under US Steel ownership) because their devalued pensions cannot fund a dignified retirement. A side effect of a positive resolution for these men and women would be perhaps dozens of good-paying jobs opening up in Keewatin for the younger generation.

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