Breaking News: Ninth Union Plan Files

On August 30, 2016 trustees of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund out of Syracuse, NY became the ninth multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency and this one has a twist (all retirees @ 12/31/15).

From their latest 5500 form here is the plan’s relevant data:

Plan Name: New York State Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Fund
EIN/PN: 16-6063585/074
Total participants @ 12/31/15: 24,199 including:
Retirees: 24,199
Separated but entitled to benefits: 0
Still working: 0

Asset Value (Market) @ 1/1/15: 1,561,393,592
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.51%) @ 1/1/15: $5,853,996,515 including:
Retirees: $3,667,708,376
Separated but entitled to benefits: $569,054,431
Still working: $1,617,233,708

Funded ratio: 26.67%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/15: $4,292,602,923

Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/15: $1,381,300,242
Contributions: $118,647,969
Payouts: $280,144,632
Expenses: $19,055,508

27 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by now retired Pat on September 20, 2016 at 11:14 am

    The full report can be found here:

    I can not believe RETIREES will be getting a 31% cut!!


  2. Posted by now retired Pat on September 20, 2016 at 11:31 am

    AN FRANCISCO – California public employees recently learned they might have to reconsider how they handle their retirement after the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that the legislature can trim public employee retirement benefits for anyone who’s still on the job.

    The decision, which was unanimous, halted assumptions that employees’ benefits are untouchable once they start their job. The legislature justification was as long as the employee still received a “reasonable” pension, their rights weren’t being violated.

    IT’S COMING!!!


  3. Posted by Bpaterson on September 20, 2016 at 11:35 am

    JB1-how does a private sector union pension fund get underfunded? The hourly wage rate normally has a fixed $/mh for pension funding and that number is negotiated everytime the contract comes up. So where did that $4 BILLION shortfall come from? just project returns on investments? The private sector union members really don’t end up wtih luxurious pension numbers.


  4. Posted by George on September 21, 2016 at 2:35 am

    2 of these plans seem to be concentrated in NY and some other states. Any retirees in NJ?

    Maybe some of the relative health of NY public plans is NY shifted the burden to multi employer plans. Add 4500 retirees from the 707 road carriers and 24200 from this union you get 28700 retirees in need of a bailout in NY.


  5. Posted by Anonymous on September 21, 2016 at 4:38 am

    John: My question is this: if when evaluating State debt, the Rating Agencies did not properly account for outstanding pension fund obligations, why are the retirees the only one’s to take a hit for this malfeasance. Shouldn’t the bondholders also take a hair cut because the State cannot properly meet its outstanding obligations. ? Once Goldman Sachs took a hit, proper accounting would occur tout de suite.


    • Posted by Anonymous on September 21, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Simple cause krispy Kreme said, so sit down & shut up ( just kidding on the second part).

      Some might (could) say GO debt was “approved” by the taxpayers but not do for all the conduit debt (issued by quazi governmental agencies and repaid by the state via annual appropriations language, “subject to the legislature making an appropriation”) which is significantly greater.


    • Posted by George on September 21, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Search on moody’s bond pension for some articles. They are supposed to do ‘due diligence’.

      Not a good example but Puerto Rico seems to not be respecting the standard order of seniority when paying debts now. PR is not part of the US, I am not sure if a state could do that and get away with it.


  6. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 21, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I’m too lazy to go back and look it up again, but these Teamsters look very similar to the Central States pensioners.
    Tough Love made a statement that those were very meager pensions to begin with. Much less generous than any state pension. This case looks very similar. They give an example of a typical $3,500 monthly pension reduced to $2,415.

    It’s dangerous to generalize, but instead of a pension calculated on final average salary, what I saw typically was something like… with 30 years service, $3,000 at age 60. Or… with 35 years service, $3,500 a month at any age.

    As I recall, these pensions seemed much better than a NJ state or city truck driver would receive, with or without COLAs. I have no idea what retiree healthcare they have, if any.

    Make no mistake, if it was me, I’d be pissed. But I don’t know who I would be pissed at.


  7. Funded ratio: 26.67%
    ONE question- how did it get THAT LOW?


  8. Posted by Anonymous on September 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Certainly this upstanding capitalist and his loyalist are not responsible for any of our economic woes? Ashamed NJ lost such a high wage earner from its tax base but then again it’s people like him that don’t pay their fair share anyway!


  9. Hi John,

    Great report. What is the “twist” ? Is it that they are going back to people who’ve reitred already?


    • Hi Easan,

      I’m still looking at it (and it may be just a mistake on the 5500) but the end-of-year participant count on the 5500 lists only retirees as if they had moved the active and vested terminated participants out of the plan prior to filing with the PBGC under MPRA. But their notice to members says that retirees will have benefits cut by 31% and actives by 20% so they have to be somewhere.


      • Posted by Anonymous on September 23, 2016 at 10:14 am

        Strange retirees 31℅ and active’s 20℅, what does the active’s reduction represent? Current salary and benefits or their pension?

        A lot of discussion focuses on the lack of employer contributions and “excessive” P&B BUT I’ve seen little mention on the significance of the Great Recession depleting the pension funds investment base at a time when the funds were experiencing increased negative cash flow.


  10. […] New York State Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Fund […]


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