Alexander Praises Army's Payment of Nearly $90 Million for Tennessee Retirees

Payment for Holston Army Ammunition Plant Workers Comes After Alexander Joined Other Lawmakers in Supporting Retirees

Posted on July 19, 2007

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that the Army has invested $90 million to fund Holston Defense Corporation retiree benefits. “This decision will provide benefits to more than 2,200 Tennessee retirees and their dependents who have worked at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport,” Alexander said. “We pushed the Army for a quick decision, so these retirees wouldn’t spend years wondering about their benefits. I’m glad the Army did the right thing in standing by those Tennesseans who worked at Holston for so many years.” Alexander, former U.S. Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and former U.S. Rep. Bill Jenkins (R-Tenn.) started working in late 2004 to address this issue with the U.S. Army and Holston’s parent company, Eastman Chemical Company. They sent letters in December 2005 and May 2006 urging the Army to expedite consideration of the matter so it could be resolved before the retirees’ benefits expired. Alexander and Frist also worked to reduce requirements for extended Congressional review of the Army’s decision to provide the funds, thereby allowing the $90 million to be dispersed more quickly. "We are pleased with the decision from the Army to continue funding for Holston Defense Corporation retiree benefits," said Brian Ferguson, chairman and chief executive officer of Eastman. "HDC representatives have worked long and hard to secure this funding. We are also grateful to our current and former congressional delegation for their support, which was instrumental in bringing this to a favorable resolution." The Army announced that the commitment to the Holston retirees is expected to yield nearly $489 million in benefits to Holston retirees through the year 2061.