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.