Now that we have a full list of multemployer plans let’s see how the pensions of the highest paid class of union employees are faring.
5500 data for these plans:
- American Basketball Association Players Retirement Plan
- Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan
- Major League Baseball Players Pension Plan
- National Basketball Association Players Pension Plan
- NBA Pension Plan For Coaches, Asst. Coaches & Trainers
- National Hockey League Players Retirement Benefits Plan
- NHL and ABA plans show no retirees so presumably annuities are purchased when players hit retirement age.
- NBA coaches plan is code 1I starting in 2011 meaning benefit accruals were frozen around 2010 though they did well while benefits were accruing:
Pensions & Investments earlier this year had a positive story on the NFL plan claiming:
The $1.8 billion Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, Baltimore, named after the first two NFL commissioners, saw its funding ratio plummet to 48% in 2013, but for a good cause: taking better care of retired players.
The plan, which was 55.9% funded as of April 2014, the latest data available, is on track to be almost fully funded before the current collective bargaining agreement ends in post-season 2020, said Miki Yaras-Davis, senior director of benefits with the NFLPA. In the context of multiemployer plans, it should reach the healthy “green” zone status of at least 80% funded by April 2017, she said.
P&I chose to focus on the line 4b item for which the actuaries are free to pick an interest rate (7.25% here):
At 29.19% the NFL plan is indeed a headache and would be severely distressed were not the NFL able to double their contributions beginning with the 3/31/14 plan year. This distinguishes the NFL situation from that of the vast majority of multiemployer plans and ALL public pension plans who cannot double their contributions so they must seek other methods.
In the case of multiemployer plans it’s getting a law passed that allows benefit cuts.
For public pension plans – more twiddling.