The assault on multiemployer (union) plans hits the beach any minute now as a decision is expected as to whether hundreds of thousands of retirees in the Central States Pension Fund (CSPF) will have their benefits cut substantially this July so that the people who run these plans won’t be inconvenienced. Here is a timeline of the case:
– Sept. 25, 2015: The CSPF applied for a rescue plan under the Kline-Miller Multi-employer Pension Reform Act of 2014. The law was attached to the 2014 budget, and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II told 41 Action News most lawmakers didn’t have a chance to fully read it. The MPRA is a last resort for a pension fund after it has met several action requirements from the Treasury Department.
– Oct. 1, 2015: CSPF plan members were mailed a letter outlining how much their benefits would be cut if the rescue plan is approved. Retirees 80 and older would not see a cut, those 75 to 79 would have a smaller reduction and the rest would lose up to 60 percent of their pension.
– May 7, 2016: Deadline for a decision from the Treasury Department. If it’s approved, the measure would go to a vote of the fund members and would need a two-thirds majority. No matter what, Ken Feinberg with the Treasury Department has to make the final call. If it’s approved, the cuts will start July 1.
I expect an approval of the application which should be posted here.