Congress is Justified in Passing Bipartisan H.R.6929 and S.3766 – "Susan Muffley Act" – To Restore the Delphi Salaried Pension Plan

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s 2009 termination of the Delphi salaried pension plan was a unique circumstance and not warranted. It resulted from the U.S. Government directing the auto industry rescue package that year. Our plan covered almost 22,000 American workers and retirees, and its involuntary termination by the PBGC meant benefit losses as much as 70 percent..
    • In 2005, our employer — auto parts supplier Delphi — filed for bankruptcy. Delphi was GM’s biggest supplier at the time. It kept producing parts and maintained payments to its pension plans.
    • In 2009, GM also filed for bankruptcy, with Delphi STILL its biggest supplier. The U.S. Government stepped in to speed GM through bankruptcy, but wanted Delphi to emerge from its own bankruptcy.
    • We believe the U.S. Government directed the PBGC to inexplicably terminate our pension plan, claiming it was “severely underfunded.”
    • The PBGC ignored a certified actuarial firm’s determination that our plan was actually funded to 86 cents in every $1 of promised pension benefits that Delphi was obligated to pay. Another actuarial firm put that into perspective, saying that our plan was better funded at that time than the average of the 100 largest pension plans offered by U.S. employers — and this was when the nation’s Great Recession was just ending.
    • The circumstances surrounding the PBGC’s termination of the 86%-funded Delphi Salaried Pension Plan are far different from what typically happens when the PBGC initiates a takeover of an employer’s failed pension plan.
    • We believe the Government initiated the termination of our plan by directing the PBGC to cut our pensions.
    • All major Delphi union pensions were fully protected by the Government, but the Delphi salaried pension plan was sacrificed at the direction of the Government.
    • The PBGC involuntarily terminated our plan even though our plan was well funded, and we were given no opportunity to object, using the above information.
Congress has acted before to protect the pensions of other American workers.
    • In 2009, Congress provided significant funding to protect the pension plans of other affected auto industry workers and retirees. This was in connection with the U.S. Government’s direction of General Motors’ six-week bankruptcy. Delphi salaried retirees were unfairly not protected. This legislation corrects the Government’s error and treats all affected parties the same.
    • In 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act, giving $94 billion to bolster more than 200 underfunded multi-employer pension plans that are common in the construction and transportation industries. Again, this excluded Delphi salaried retirees.