Right wing Think Tank Aims to strip Social Security Benefits from MBTA workers
As reported in the Boston Business Journal, the Pioneer Institute recently recommended that Social Security benefits for MBTA employees be cut. The conservative think tank singled out Social Security payments, in which workers contributions are matched with employer contributions, as being the largest contributor to the $1B unfunded liability.
Currently, the MBTA provides retirement benefits on top of Social Security pension payments, which Pioneer calls “double dipping.” Luckily, federal law may protect these benefits from being rolled back, as it requires transit agencies that were made public between 1936 and 1951 to provide Social Security to its employees. The MBTA falls within that range, and an act of Congress may be required should the MBTA proceed with Pioneer’s recommendations.
The MBTA should protect its comprehensive retirement benefits for their workers and set an example as a high-road employer that cares about the future of its employees and their families. Pension and retirement benefits allow employees to build long-standing careers with the MBTA while securing their future. Experienced, committed staff are key to ensuring the T runs smoothly, safely, and on time.
While “privatization hawks” are slow to acknowledge it, multiple reports have found MBTA wage and benefit costs be on average with or below those of other transportation systems in regions with comparable costs of living.
Image: Carolyn Bick