Washington, DC – Representatives Mike Turner (OH-10), Dan Kildee (MI-8), Claudia Tenney (NY-24), and Gwen Moore (WI-4) introduced bipartisan legislation to restore the pensions of the Delphi Salaried Retirees.
Named after the deceased spouse of a Delphi retiree, the “Susan Muffley Act” provides backpay for the pension payments that should have been received for the past 13 years via a lump sum payment equivalent to the difference between any benefits that have paid out and what retirees would have been paid without limitations, plus 6 percent interest. It would also restore full pension payments going forward as if never disrupted. There are more than 21,000 Delphi retirees impacted by this legislation, with approximately 5,180 retirees residing in Ohio.
“The effort to restore Delphi Salaried Retiree’s pensions has been challenging, but my determination will not waiver to right this wrong,” said Congressman Turner. “Through bipartisan efforts in Congress and with President Biden’s support, we now enter the 14th year of this fight. I will continue to advocate to make Delphi retirees financially whole, who lost their pensions through no fault of their own.”
““If you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve to retire with dignity,” said Congressman Kildee. “Delphi salaried retirees lost their pensions through no fault of their own, and that’s not right. These hardworking retirees have waited for over a decade for the benefits they earned. While we were successful in getting the legislation passed in the House last Congress with the support of Republicans and Democrats, the Senate failed to take it up. We will not stop fighting for Delphi salaried retirees until their pensions are restored.”
“The Susan Muffley Act restores the full pension benefits of the Delphi Salaried Retirees, righting a terrible wrong that has had a devastating impact on New York families. I am honored to have joined with Representatives Kildee and Turner to demand the Susan Muffley Act be included last year in any year-end legislative package and we will continue our fight together this year as we reintroduce this legislation in the 118th Congress,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “As a compassionate and tenacious voice for our region, I am committed to reversing the Obama administration’s unjust termination decision, which directly harmed nearly 2,300 Western and Central New Yorkers.”
“Retirees who work hard and pay into their pension plans rightfully expect to receive their promised benefits so they can age with a sense of financial security. But, through no fault of their own, Delphi salaried workers lost much of their hard earned benefits after GM filed for bankruptcy and reorganized – with the federal government – at the expense of these workers in 2009,” said Congresswoman Moore. “For over a decade, the Delphi salaried workers have been waiting to be made whole. I am proud to join my colleagues in efforts to correct this wrong and ensure these retirees receive the pension benefits they are due.”
During the Great Recession of 2009, car parts manufacturer Delphi faced bankruptcy. The company was acquired by General Motors (GM), which also faced financial hardship during that time. As part of GM’s bailout, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) took trusteeship of Delphi employees’ pensions at the direction of the Obama Administration.
One group employed by Delphi was a group of 21,000 salaried employees, including those who worked at the company’s plant in Dayton. Retirement benefits for these employees included a single-employer pension. GM decided to close the plant and voluntarily terminate the fully funded pension of the salaried employees. At that point, the PBGC became the sole trustee of the plan. The salaried employees then formed the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association (DSRA).
Since 2009, Congressman Turner has been working closely with the Delphi Salaried Retiree Association (DRSA) to restore their benefits throughout the Obama, Trump and Biden Administrations.
In October 2020, at the urging of Congressman Turner, former President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the PBGC to examine the financial status of Delphi Salaried Retirees’ pension fund and to investigate administrative or legislative pathways for the restoration of the fund.
In December 2021, Turner filed an Amicus Brief when the DSRA filed for Cert with the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dennis Black, et al. v. PBGC case. The case was subsequently denied cert, thus Turner authored the “Susan Muffley Act” as the only option to wholly restore the pensions.
In July 2022, President Joe Biden issued a statement of administrative policy in support of the legislation that would restore the Delphi retirees’ pensions.
Subsequently the Susan Muffley Act passed the House of Representatives on July 27, 2022 with bipartisan support 254-175. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to approve the bill prior to the end of the 117th Congress.