Joining Central States

The Central States Pension Fund is one of the nation’s largest multiemployer Taft-Hartley defined benefit pension plans. With 360,000 participants, Central States has been a secure retirement choice for Teamster members who participate through a collective bargaining agreement between our union and employer partners. 

Established in 1955 to provide a lifetime monthly retirement benefit to Teamster members, Central States has paid $85 billion in benefits to 650,000 retirees and beneficiaries.

Retirement benefits are funded by weekly contributions made by our 1,000 employer partners - negotiated under collective bargaining agreements with the Teamsters union. 


As of 2023, Central States is 95% funded with a highly conservative investment strategy to reach full funding in coming years.

Additionally, with an eye on growing the Fund, Central States introduced the New Employer Hybrid Plan in 2011. The Hybrid Plan protects new employers joining the Fund from withdrawal liability.

As of 2023, the New Employer Pool – also known as the Hybrid Plan, is over 140% funded, and is expected to never have withdrawal liability in the future.

Click here to learn more about the Fund.

Today's Contributions = Tomorrow's Pensions

Recently there has been a lot of talk about retirement insecurity. In the past few years it is widely reported how pensions are “disappearing” and being replaced by retirement savings accounts like 401(k) plans.

Then, with the recent economic downturn, Vanguard reported that in 2022 many Americans’ retirement savings accounts took a big hit, averaging a 20% loss … such a hit that many Americans had to delay their retirement and continue to work.

Click here to learn more about our benefit highlights.


Regardless of whether the stock market goes up or down, more than 200,000 current retired Teamsters and surviving spouses can count on receiving their monthly retirement checks from Central States because of our conservative investment strategy.

Our named fiduciary, BlackRock, manages the assets of the Pension Fund. BlackRock is responsible for developing and implementing an investment policy, in consultation with Central States’ actuary and trustees, that meets the goals of meeting benefit obligations, remaining solvent indefinitely, and achieving full funding.

Click here to learn more about our investment strategy.


While Central States is funded 95% overall, the new employer pool under the Hybrid Plan is estimated to be over 140% funded in 2023.

What does this mean for new employers?

Because contributions fully-fund new benefit accruals and Pension Fund assets are invested conservatively, an employer can have confidence in the Hybrid Plan staying fully funded and not having the burden of worrying about future withdrawal liability.

Click here to learn more about Pension Withdrawal Liability.


A rewarding retirement just doesn’t happen. Through weekly pension contributions negotiated by the union and paid by the employer, your employees’ hard work is rewarded with a monthly lifetime retirement benefit that they can never outlive. 

To assist with getting your employees vested and eligible for benefits sooner, Central States provides special benefit incentives to employees joining the Pension Fund as part of a new group.

Click here to learn more about our special benefits for employees.