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Fighting the growing retirement security crisis

Local 1000 is spearheading a coalition of labor, faith and social justice groups to expand programs that address the growing retirement crisis facing millions of Californians.  

Last month, our union cohosted a coalition-building event that released research reviewing this growing crisis and what Californians will face at retirement age without new policies to change the future. 

“This is the beginning of us collectively wielding our power to take on retirement security throughout California,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “We are building a powerful alliance to ensure a dignified retirement for all Californians.”

Secure Choice: new opportunity

Local 1000 leaders and staff are working with the new Secure Choice Board to provide a new retirement opportunity for private sector workers. We support full implementation of the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act in 2016. The legislation was sponsored by Local 1000 and authored by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De León and signed by Governor Brown in 2012.

The Secure Choice Board, of which Local 1000 president Walker is a member, is developing a voluntary plan that would provide a secure retirement savings option to workers who don’t have access to an employer-based retirement plan, funded by an automatic payroll deduction. The plan is designed to serve the 6.3 million private sector employees currently without pension plans in California. 

Public Pension Attacks

Attacks on public pensions continue, even though they are one of the most effective ways to help seniors avoid poverty, and one of the best ways for public employers to provide fiscally responsible approaches to retirement for public employees.  

Two ballot measures recently filed by Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio threaten to drastically reduce or eliminate public pensions, replacing them with either nothing or vastly shrunken plans. It will become more evident in the next few weeks and months if the authors are able to gather enough financial support to get signatures and have these measures qualify for the November, 2016 ballot.

Shoring up Social Security

Local 1000 is also working with national partners through coalitions such as “Social Security Works” to expand and protect Social Security.  Recently, this coalition began supporting a new bill co-authored by Senator Warren to close a tax credit for wealthy corporate benefits and provide a COLA for seniors receiving Social Security.  

Local 1000 will continue to provide opportunities to members to learn more about these issues and information on how to get involved to fight attacks and provide real retirement security to all Californians.

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