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Ryan to Trump: Help Delphi retirees

To read letter click here

WARREN — Oral arguments are scheduled for next week in Cincinnati in the federal appeals case involving Delphi salaried retirees trying to regain their full pensions.

Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan, meanwhile, has appealed to President Donald Trump to intervene in the 11-year fight by retirees with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation over the retirement lost in the fallout of Delphi’s bankruptcy and, according to his office, order the Treasury Department to stop the court and settle by reinstating the pensions.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case Jan. 28, according to the court’s online docket. Attorneys for each side will get 15 minutes.

Retirees are trying to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling from March that sided with the PBGC to dismiss the lawsuit filed in 2009 by the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association over the lost retirement funding.

PBGC took over the employee pensions after Delphi declared bankruptcy. The move resulted in lower pension payments to retirees, some by as much as 70 percent.

About 1,500 local salaried retirees were affected.

Delphi, formerly Packard Electric that at one time was part of General Motors’ parts division, filed for bankruptcy in October 2005 and emerged four years later. While Delphi was in bankruptcy protection in 2009, it relinquished responsibility for all its employee pensions to PBGC.

General Motors continued contributing to union-represented retirees, but salaried retirees were left with substantially reduced pensions. Those salaried retirees have argued the administration of former President Barack Obama ignored them while guiding GM through its own 2009 bankruptcy.

Ryan wrote Trump last week asking for help.

“These pensions and all pensions are, in fact, deferred wages that are owed to employees,” wrote Ryan, D-Howland. “What has happened to the Delphi retirees is unfair, but it can be corrected through your intervention.

“The Delphi Salaried Retirees have fought in the courts for many years to claim what is rightfully theirs — so far to no avail. Now Mr. President, they are looking to you for fair treatment and I urge you to respond favorably to their request,” Ryan wrote.

Said Bruce Gump of Howland, vice chairman of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association board of directors, “We have said all along that, in fact, the president had the authority to step into the issue and resolve it and, in fact, we are asking our congressional representatives in all of the Great Lakes states to request to do just that and Mr. Ryan, to his credit, agreed that this is something that should be done.”

rselak@tribtoday.com

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