In 2015, the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Plan celebrated its 60th anniversary. It's important to reflect on why your Plan has endured and prospered where others have not. The cornerstone of your Plan's success rests on founding principles that are as important today as 60 years ago.
- Security through the diverse number of employers and industries that participate in the plan and the broad geographic area in which they operate — The largest area-wide multiemployer pension plan, your Plan now covers nearly 200,000 active participants through pension agreements with 1,400 employers engaged in 50 different industries in 25 states across the United States. In the past three years alone, nearly 5,000 new participants from 129 new bargaining units voted to join your Plan through collective bargaining agreements.
- Security through a broad range of benefits based on covered hours you work — The more hours and years of covered work you have, the bigger your benefits will be. By the Trustees' commitment to maintaining the Plan's strong funding status, benefits you earn will never go down in value. They move with you to covered jobs with other Teamster employers. And once you begin to draw your pension, unlike a 401(k) plan, you don't need to worry about outliving your money. The Plan will continue to pay your benefits, month after month, year after year, decade after decade.
- Security through a balance between growth of plan assets and the needs of the plan participants and contributing employers — Your Plan's formal funding policies balance the value of Plan assets with participant and contributing employer objectives. The joint Union-Employer Board of Trustees works closely with experienced investment advisors and managers to maintain a conservative, yet diversified, investment course and monitor asset performance against financial targets.
This Plan has lived through many of the events that shaped our country, and we've outlived many other financial institutions, such as Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual Bank, that lost sight of their purpose and put risk ahead of protecting members' financial well-being. Our Trustees have kept to a consistent set of principles and a belief, that "real retirement security" takes more than Social Security. It requires the added monthly income stream of a well-funded, well-managed pension plan that will keep its promises through prudent management of the funds entrusted to it.
Since your Plan began, it's never missed a benefit payment promised to participants, retirees and beneficiaries. Nor can the benefits you have earned fluctuate with the economy, the financial fortunes of any one employer or amounts you may receive from Social Security.
The Trustees are committed to maintaining the principles that kept your Plan on a sound financial basis for 60 years—and will ensure similar success for many years to come.