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Biden awards billions for LTL trucker pensions

Yellow, ABF drivers to benefit from $36B disbursement of COVID-19 relief money

Current and retired Yellow drivers will get pension relief. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The Biden administration has released $36 billion in bailout money for the Central States Pension Fund (CSPF) that will go toward protecting the pensions of over 350,000 workers, including drivers who work for or have retired from less-than-truckload carriers Yellow and ABF Freight.

The money was authorized within the Butch Lewis Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021, legislation that was rolled into the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden in March last year.

“These workers paid into the fund for years or even decades and faced cuts through no fault of their own,” the White House asserted in a statement Thursday. “Approved by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, this is the largest-ever award of federal financial support for worker and retiree pension security and the largest award from the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance Program.”

CSPF, largely made up of Teamsters union workers and retirees, had been the largest financially distressed multiple-employer pension plan in the country and was in danger of becoming insolvent, according to some estimates, by 2025.

Before the American Rescue Plan’s financial assistance program essentially bailed out the plan, Teamsters workers and retirees had faced an estimated 60% cut in retirement benefits over the next several years. CSPF officials now estimate it will be able to pay full benefits through 2051, the White House stated.

Among the beneficiaries are approximately 30,000 current employees of both ABF Freight, part of ArcBest (NASDAQ:ARCB), and Yellow Corp. (NASDAQ: YELL).


“This is an issue of fairness – of this country keeping its word to hardworking, honest people who did everything they were supposed to do in life,” commented Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien.

“Our members chose to forgo raises and other benefits for a prosperous retirement, and they deserve to enjoy the security and stability that all of them worked so hard to earn. Labor law, bankruptcy law, the tax code – so much of public policy in America today is written by and for big corporations and Wall Street, so it’s good to see elected officials stand up for working families for once.”

Over 20% of those benefiting from the funds reside in Michigan and Ohio, according to a White House fact sheet

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

15 Comments

  1. Freight Zippy

    These pensions were paid for, now the taxpayer is paying again.
    This is nothing more than a money laundering scheme for Democrats.
    A union that is broke hands over millions of $$$$ every election cycle to Democrats. In Return they receive a total of almost $100 BILLION In Taxpayer $$$
    This dumpster fire of a company needs to be put to rest.
    Give the taxpayer a break…

  2. Ben Parkinson

    So concerning the pension plan does this include dock/ forklift operators that load/unload for these drivers to have FREIGHT to distribute to the customer?

  3. Me

    If they put money into the system it’s because they stole it from the working man already The other sad thing is if they didn’t steal the money it would still be there and another sad thing is you’re not passing it along I know guys paid 45 years into the Union they’re getting less than half of what they’re supposed to get pretty sad thanks for stealing my money

  4. Douglas McDonald

    Maybe Enron employees should get their money back . It was no fault of their own doing . Maybe the government should bail out the people who lost with the current Crypto scam . Or maybe the government should quit giving tax payer money for every failure or mistake we make. My stock investments are down but that is just the chance you take.

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John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.