UPIC (7) Endgame

In paring the list of multemployer (union) plans to those located in New Jersey and sorted by funded ratio the New Bedford Fish Lumpers Pension Plan out of West Trenton stands out with that 1.42% funded ratio and this history:


Ten years ago this plan was 52.62% funded which is higher than the 47.04% average funded ratio for ALL multiemployer plans and the 46.57% average funded ratio for all multiemployer plans in New Jersey. Ten years from now the fate of the New Bedford Fish Lumpers Pension Plan could be visited on 90% of all multiempoloyer plans. That fate, as noted in their latest 5500 filing, is….


There were 37 retirees receiving $114,176 in payouts ($3,006 average which accounts for the minimal benefit reductions) while $1,418 was reported as Employer Contributions and $148,200 as Other Income (mostly PBGC financial assistance?) out of which $29,323 in Other Expenses was also paid.

The idea behind keeping these zombie plans going after they run out of money is that the PBGC would be getting help from past and current employers in paying benefits but in this case $1,418 is not much help while $29,323 (20% of PBGC assistance) to pay actuaries, administrators, and brokers seems (to everybody except actuaries, administrators, and brokers) a waste of what is now premium money other multiemployer plans pay and, in ten years, will be taxpayer money.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dentss dunnigan on December 6, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Talk about a dead fish ….this plan is ready to be tossed …..


  2. Posted by Anonymous on December 6, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Fish Lumpers Pension says it all……


  3. Posted by George on December 7, 2016 at 10:50 am

    2006 article explaining the situation (scooping by a decade the main stream press which still avoids timely discussion of the pension crisis). Fish Lumpers, who unload and sterilize fishing boat holds, never made much money and it seems had very small pensions.

    Their profession was to some extent ruined by environmental regulations which reduced fishing possibilities that reduced their ability to work, and benefited everyone in the US and the planet. So they might have an argument for a federal bailout. The article implies a large number of nonunion Lumpers, many of which I suppose are either new immigrants or illegal workers outright, which resulted from federal policy and also adds to the Lumpers pension woes in favor of wealthy American seafood lovers, again perhaps justifying a federal bailout.

    BTW, at some point the non union Lumpers will need to be supported in old age, expect them to need a similar bailout even if they have no accrued pension points. As fed gov is already regulating all aspects of their industry, maybe requiring union membership to lump fish will at least get some cash into the PBGC till from wealthy American fish lovers.

    Lumpers’ pensions facing a ‘slow death’


  4. […] far less than the PBGC guarantee, so even after exhaustion of all trust assets by 2025, like the Fish Lumpers, the Mine Workers will likely have the PBGC continuing to pay most of their benefits (unless of […]


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