Warner, Kaine introduce bill to help coal miners' pensions


Virginia senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner introduced a bill Thursday that would reform provisions of a 1974 act that helps fund the pensions of retired coal miners.

The lawmakers said in a joint statement the current financial plan first crafted with the 1974 UMWA Pension Plan is headed toward insolvency and jeopardizes the retirement funds of more than 120,000 miners.

The combination of the 2008 'Great Recession' along with few active miners to pay into the fund and coal companies no longer in existence put miners in the position of having their pension cut and liabilities for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will range into the billions, the two senators said in the release.

Miners recently had their health care benefits renewed as part of a stop-gap budget solution approved last month by Congress.