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Transportation Pension

Pension Plans in the Trucking Industry
   Is the low-fuel warning light on?

“Multiemployer pension plans in the trucking industry are only about 70 percent funded, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.”

­ Arizona Republic‚ July 6‚ 2005


“Another $150 billion shortfall is estimated among some of the 1,600 multiemployer plans that are common among unionized workers in the building trades, trucking and supermarket industries.”

­ Florida Today‚ June 13‚ 2005






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So you’re a trucker...

You may be a short hauler, and probably unionized. You may be an owner/operator hiring yourself out, or work long-term for a big long-haul firm. There are some 3.1 million truck drivers in the U.S. today, and the $585 billion trucking industry makes it a big engine indeed. In fact, trucking is responsible for about 5 percent of the $11 trillion American economy, as well as 87% of the $677 billion transportation industry.

About 1.4 million truckers belong to the Teamsters union, about 45% of all truckers. But union membership has been steadily falling, despite the overall growth of the industry.

For up-to-date information about events affecting your pension right now, take a look at our Recent Articles section.

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What type of plan do I have?

Unionized short-haul truckers tend to have multi-employer pension plans negotiated by their unions. Long haulers are more likely to have single-employer plans. And both types of plans are usually Defined Benefit Plans.

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Is your plan good for the long haul?

Trucking has grown vigorously over the last decade and that growth – combined with a shortage of drivers – has been keeping salaries high. But this fragmented, highly competitive, and low-margin industry remains sensitive to the economy, interest rates, and the price of diesel. This has contributed to the underfunding epidemic of many trucker pension funds.

A December, 2005 study by the Central States Pension Improvement Committee compared the Teamster's Central States Fund with six other larger Teamster funds. The report, as discussed on the Teamsters for a Democratic Union website, found that despite deeper cuts in benefit, the Central States fund had "the same employers, the same demographics, the same ratio of retirees, and a similar funding ratio." The group has called for more detailed information so they can produce an independent actuarial study of the fund.

According to an October 2004 article in Financial Planning magazine, trucking was underfunded by 33% in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) multiple-employer program.

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Pension plan road hazards

Although the trucking industry itself is generally healthy, the private pensions covering truckers face uncertainty. This is particularly true for short haulers, who tend to be unionized, and therefore often have multi-employer plans. A failure by one or more employers in a multi-employer plan can threaten others. As that employer’s contribution drops out of the plan, other companies have to make up the difference in future contributions.

Also, the Teamsters pension funds have been plagued with numerous financial problems. The largest, the Central States Pension Fund – with approximately $16 billion in assets – was down about $6 billion as of March 2003.

Therefore, all truckers – and particularly short haulers – should take the time to look into their pensions to make sure their funds are safe. If you aren’t up-to-date on how your pension is doing, our Understanding Your Pension section can help you make sense of your pension plan materials and get more information.

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Where do I go to find out about my pension

Good intentions and complex legal mandates are not enough to protect your retirement income. Truckers should take steps to inform themselves about their company pension plans – through your company’s Human Resources organization and, if unionized, through your local union representatives as well.

This website has been designed to help you. Click to our easy-to-follow Understanding Your Pension section for more detailed information.

You can also click here to see contact information for the trucking industry.

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Contact Information for Truckers

Major Trucking Companies:

Contact information for the major trucking companies is listed below. Where possible, we have included direct numbers or web addresses to the relevant pension, benefits, or human resources departments.

ABF Freight System, INC.
Main: 1-800-610-5544
Benefits: 479-785-6000

American Freight Company
Main: 727-595-5950

Averitt Express
Main: 1-800-283-7488

Bax Global Air Freight
Benefits: 714-442-4518

Bullet Freight
Main: 1-888-506-7437

Bullocks Express
Main: 1-800-459-3614

Central Freight Lines, Inc.
Main: 1-800-782-5036

Central Transport
Main: 1-800-334-4883

CNF, Inc.
Main: 650-494-2900
Benefits: 503-450-2000

Dayton Freight
Main: 1-800-860-5102

DHL Worldwide Express
Main: 954-888-7000
Benefits: 954-888-5716

Estes Express Lines
Main: 1-866-ESTES4U
Benefits: 1-866-ESTES4U x2211

Federal Express
Main: 901-369-3600
Benefits: 901-434-4800

Main: 714-523-1122
Benefits: 714-223-2540

J.B. Hunt
Main: 1-800-643-3622

Kane Freight Lines, Inc.
Main: 1-800-845-KANE (5263)
Benefits: 1-800-374-4631

Nebraska Transport Company, Inc.
Main: 1-800-347-6331

New England Motor Freight
Main: 908-965-0100
Benefits: 732-940-7216 x263

Nussbaum Trucking
Main: 1-800-322-7305

Oak Harbor Freight
Main: 1-800-285-6254
Benefits: 1-800-858-8815

Old Dominion Freight Line
Main: 1-800-432 6335
Benefits: 336-822-5230 (Bill Tittsworth)

Pilot Air Freight
Main: 610-891-8100
Benefits: 610-891-8122

Roadway Express, Inc.
Main: 330-384-1717

Saia Motor Freight
Main: 1-800-765-7242
Benefits: 800-950-7242

Schneider National, Inc.
Main: 920-592-2000
Benefits: 800-558-6701 x4183

Southeastern Freight Lines
Main: 800-637-7335
Benefits: 1-800-637-7335 x3266

Swift Transportation
Main: 1-800-669-7943
Benefits: 1-800-800-2200 (ask for benefits)

Main: 404-828-6000
Benefits: 1-800-643-4442

US Freightways
Main: 773-824-1000

Viking Freight (re-branded to FedEx Freight West)
Main: 901-369-3600
Benefits: 1-800-525-4478

Vitran Express
Main: 800-366-0150
Benefits: 317-803-4039

Ward Trucking
Main: 1-800-458-3625

Watkins Motor Lines
Main: 1-800-274-9099
Benefits: 1-888-552-6215 x3700

Werner Trucking
Main: 402-895-6640
Benefits: 1-800-228-2240 x2681

Wilson Trucking
Main: 540-949-3200
Benefits: 540-949-3276

Wichita Southeast Kansas Transit (WSKT)
Main: 1-800-879-9758
Benefits: 1-800-879-9758 x152

Yellow Roadway Corporation
Main: 913-696-3028

Non-Union Benefits: 800-458-3323 x6163
Union Benefits: 800-458-3323 x3443

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Teamsters and associated pension funds

Contact information for the Teamsters – and associated pension funds – is provided below:

International Brotherhood of Teamsters
With 1.4 million members, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has 521 Teamsters local unions in North America. There are 32 regional Teamster pension plans.
Tel: 202-624-6800

Central Pennsylvania Teamsters Pension Fund
Tel: 610-320-5500

Central PA Teamster Reform Committee

Central States Pension Fund
The largest, the Central States Pension Fund, owed $31 billion to about 460,000 workers and retirees at the end of 2002, according to the New York Times. It has approximately $16 billion in assets – down “about $6 billion in the last three and a half years.”
Tel: (800) 323-5000

Michigan Conference of Teamsters Welfare Fund
Tel: 313-964-2400

New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund

New York State Teamsters Conference –
Pension & Retirement Fund
Tel: 315-455-9790

Western Pennsylvania Teamsters & Employers Pension Fund
Tel: 800-362-4201

Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Plan
Its agreements cover over 300,000 Teamsters through pension agreements with 5,200 employers in 13 states. Joint Councils are set up in areas with three or more local unions.

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Joint Councils by State

Joint Council 28: 206-441-7470

Joint Council 3: 303-477-1623

Joint Council 7: 415-467-7768
Joint Council 42: 626-573-4242
Joint Council 38: 209-577-0500

Joint Council 3: 303-477-1623

Joint Council 42: 626-573-4242

Joint Council 3: 303-477-1623

Joint Council 3: 303-477-1623

Joint Council 38: 209-577-0500

New Mexico
Joint Council 3: 303-477-1623

Joint Council 37: 503-251-2337

Joint Council 3: 303-477-1623

Joint Council 28: 206-441-7470
Joint Council 37: 503-251-2337

Joint Council 3: 303-477-1623

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