Sheffield: Biden paints himself as savior of pensions while 401ks tank and retirees feel heat from inflation

Carrie Sheffield, DCNF

President Joe Biden visited an ironworkers union in Ohio Wednesday, attempting to claim credit for saving workers’ pensions. Meanwhile, Biden ignored that millions of Americans have seen their 401(k)s and other retirement savings falter under inflation and massive market losses.

The stock market’s cratering has wiped out some $3 trillion in retirement savings this year, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The average 401(k) dropped nearly $10,000 in the first quarter of 2022, according to one major fund manager speaking to The New York Post.

But in Ohio, Biden was silent and clueless about widespread suffering among America’s retirees.

“A lot of politicians like to talk about how they’re going to do something about [retirement security],” Biden said during his speech touting the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance program to bail out union pensions. “Well, I’m here today to say we’ve done something about it.”

Yes, Biden has done something about workers’ retirement, and it’s been something awful. Biden said he was bringing $90 billion to bailout multiemployer pension plans who faced significant cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

But he failed to mention that this and other bailout programs — now running in the trillions of dollars — has done something to inflation: jacked it to record heights.

This inflation is crippling retirees who live on fixed incomes and suffer each month as their savings shrink. Biden made only one mention of inflation in Ohio, though he blamed not his own inflationary policies — he blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I campaigned to restore the backbone of this country, the middle class and unions,” Biden said, claiming he was restoring “just a little peace of mind,” even while he said “for folks at home, imagine losing 50 or 60% of that pension through absolutely no fault of your own. Imagine what it does financially and emotionally, what it does to your dignity.”

Biden wants dignity for some, not for all. His bailout unveiled Wednesday supports plans insured by a federal agency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The White House released a fact sheet reporting that prior to the America Rescue Plan bailout, the PBGC’s multiemployer pension insurance program, affecting more than 200 multiemployer pension plans, was projected to become insolvent in 2026.

What that means in practice is that the Biden White House is picking and choosing retirement winners and losers — the winners happen to be unions, a reliable Democrat donor and voter constituency.

The politicization of retirement plans is also seeping into the broader private sector, but a new campaign by Strive Asset Management is fighting against woke pensions. Campaign organizers are tying the spike in gas prices to everyday Americans’ unknowingly contributing to the problem through their investment accounts.

Major investment managers who are captive to leftist partisanship are either divesting from fossil fuels or demanding that oil and gas companies turn away from core competencies into unproven “Green” projects. Strive is planning to launch an alternative fund in August vowing to leave political causes out of the boardroom.

Carrie Sheffield is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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