UPIC – (3) No Contribution Spike

It may be the only time the film Miracle at St. Anna will ever be described as an asset – in paragraph 28 of a lawsuit filed last week against Spike Lee and his companies looking for missed contributions of about $45,000 (plus interest and attorney fees) after an audit:

On information and belief, the single asset of Black Butterfly—the film Miracle at St. Anna (“Film”)— was transferred to Forty Acres without adequate consideration. Forty Acres was represented to the public as the producer of the Film and was credited with the Film’s production.

The union plan involved is the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan and it provides an example of how even a ‘good’ multiemployer plan where…

  • only 21% of participants are retirees,
  • over 60% of participants are active for whom contributions are made, and
  • contributions and payouts are approximately equal

ends up in dire straits on account the dissociation allowed by, among others, the actuarial profession between benefits promised and funded for.

Based on 5500 data:

Plan Name: Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan

EIN/PN: 95-1810805/001

Total participants @ 12/31/15: 81,250 including:

  • Retirees: 17,067
  • Separated but entitled to benefits: 14,628
  • Still working: 49,555

Asset Value (Market) @ 1/1/15: 3,287,835,000

Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.51%) @ 1/1/15: $8,833,567,000 including:

  • Retirees: $2,875,094,000
  • Separated but entitled to benefits: $949,336,000
  • Still working: $5,009,137,000

 

Funded ratio: 37.22%

Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/15: $5,545,732,000

Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/15: $3,185,362,462

Part of Assets of undeterminable value @ 12/31/15: $799,353,319

Contributions 2015: $272,925,000

Payouts 2015: $274,477,444

Expenses 2015: $25,045,411

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Eric on November 27, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    John:
    It still looks better than NJ’s plan, which is about 34% funded, using the new asset numbers, provided by treasury.
    Eric

    Reply

    • It is better especially in regard to the amount of payouts compared to contributions from all sources which is 1:1 for the Motion Picture Plan and about 2:1 for NJ. But even with that the Motion Picture Plan has a funded ratio similar to the Central States Teamsters Plan that is headed for insolvency.

      Reply

      • But even with that the Motion Picture Plan has a funded ratio similar to the Central States Teamsters Plan that is headed for insolvency.
        The difference is there is HOPE, light at the end of the tunnel, for the Motion Picture Plan…

        Reply

        • Posted by Theodore Konshak on December 4, 2016 at 9:01 pm

          Under the funding standards of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, assets to pay the retirement benefits should be accumulated during the working lifetime of the participants. After assets are allocated to the retirees and those separated from employment, for the actively employed there is less than zero in assets available. For the ctively employed, what light at the end of the tunnel?

          Reply

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