More than 52,000 PA workers and retirees’ pensions saved by Biden’s American Rescue Plan

Joe Biden, Pensions

President Joe Biden speaking at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple in Scranton, PA on April 16, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

July 1, 2024

The Biden administration announced last month that over 1 million workers have had their pensions saved by the American Rescue Plan. This includes over 52,000 workers in Pennsylvania. 

President Joe Biden’s administration recently announced a major milestone for their first term in office. More than 1 million workers and retirees, and more than 52,000 in Pennsylvania, have had their pensions saved thanks to the American Rescue Plan

US Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) made the announcement recently when more than 100,000 members of the Baker, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) had their pension saved by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). 

“Millions of workers rely on the pensions they’ve earned, but before we passed the American Rescue Plan, too many retirees faced devastating cuts to their plans,” US Sen. Bob Casey said in a statement.

“I fought for this fix because I know how integral pensions are to the futures of thousands of Pennsylvania families, and how scary it was for those families to face the possibility of the rug being pulled out from underneath them.”

Without this funding, these BCTGM members, including over 6,700 in Pennsylvania, would have faced 45% cuts to their pensions. 

The Butch Lewis Act, a provision within the American Rescue Plan, provides the PGBC between $74 billion to $91 billion in funding to protect pensions for more than 33 million workers and retirees. It was set to go insolvent by 2026 without this funding. 

So far, the American Rescue Plan has provided assistance to 83 pension plans, helping more than 1 million workers and has prevented pension cuts by an average of 37%. 

Last year, Biden called the Butch Lewis Act one of the most significant achievements for union workers in over 50 years while speaking at the Philadelphia Labor Day rally.  

“We did something else that mattered a whole lot to folks in this parking lot. We passed the Butch Lewis Act, which protected pensions for millions of union workers,” Biden said. 

“Two to three million union workers, through no fault of their own, after paying their pension for years, face painful cuts and benefits. They were counting on retirement, they’re going to [be] left high and dry. All [the] companies they worked for didn’t hold up their end of the bargain and finance their end of the bargain. We just couldn’t let that happen.”



  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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