Breaking News: Fifth Union Plan Gets MPRA Letter

On September 25, 2015 the Central States Pension Plan was the first multiemployer plan to apply to the Treasury Department to reduce benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). On May 6, 2016 that application was denied.

March 15, 2016 – Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund also applied. June 24, 2016 – denied.

March 26, 2016 – Ironworkers Local 16 Pension Plan applied.  November 3, 2016 – denied

November 10, 2016 – Teamsters Local 469 Pension Fund out of Hazlet, New Jersey which applied first on 12/28/15 but withdrew that application and refiled on 3/31/16denied

Today the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Fund got their letter….


So what happens next? According to the PBGC FAQs on MPRA:

If the trustees’ application to reduce benefits is approved by the Treasury Department, in consultation with PBGC and the Department of Labor, those participants and beneficiaries have the right to vote on the proposed benefit changes before they occur. A statement from the plan trustees in support of the benefit reductions and a statement, based on public comments, in opposition to the benefit reductions are both required to be included on the ballot that is provided for the vote.

For most multiemployer pension plans, Kline-Miller requires that if the majority of all participants and beneficiaries in the plan vote against benefit reductions, they cannot occur. However, the trustees could submit a new application to reduce benefits and start the process again.

The Treasury Department has published proposed and temporary regulations detailing the application review process, which are currently posted online for public comment.

Different rule for large plans:

There is a different rule for large and financially troubled multiemployer plans (referred to as “systemically important plans”). These are plans that would require PBGC assistance valued at more than $1 billion if the proposed reductions in benefits are not implemented.  Even if a majority of the participants and beneficiaries covered by one of these large and financially troubled plans vote against the proposed benefit reductions, the Treasury Department is required by Congress to permit the implementation of such benefit reductions or a modified version of such reductions.

The Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Fund  is definitely financially troubled as they report having a funded ratio of 23.91% as of 5/1/14 but the unfunded liabilities only come to $276,387,077  so a vote might mean something.

53 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Where’s the regulations to insure that pension funds are properly invested and protected from their and poor investment strategies? I doubt under the new administration any such protection will be enacted or enforced, the new GOP which now we can call the Gang of Putin, since the FBI and CIA fully agree interfered with the 2016 election, will continue to erode our democracy to satisfy their elite campaign donors. The new Russian supported GOP is now indebted to Putin so American worker rights will begin to disappear. Traitors at every level of American government benefited from Russian hacking of the U.S. elections. The corporate elite would love to eliminate workers benefits, reduce wages, increase work hours and undermine labor force progress. Winning by any means necessary, shameful


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 18, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Take the lump sum instead of the monthly annuity. I did because I don’t think the government will ask the taxpayers to bail out underfunded multiemployer pensions. Why would the the taxpayer, possibly with no pension be asked to bail out someone else’s pension?


  2. Posted by Whirled Peas on December 17, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Hopefully the Trump administration will look into what happened to the money in these funds. All of these funds are labor union run funds and we all know that labor unions are all honest people!

    Get these bankrupt labor union funds out from under the jurisdiction of the PBGC before these rotten apples corrupt the more solvent corporate pensions. It is clear that the labor unions lust after the funds in the big corporate pensions and are trying to use the PBGC to force “insurance” premiums out of the big corporate pensions and use those funds to prop up the bankrupt labor union pensions.


    • Posted by Joseph on January 31, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Your right. The exorbitant union presidents and trustee pensions will be lost if they go under. So they want to cut the little guys pension so they don’t lose theirs


  3. Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 8:20 am

    The Trump Administration in transition declared war on China, they will be too busy fending off responses , beginning with retrieving our stolen sea drone, preventing China from calling our debt for a balloon payment etc,etc, etc. Preventing terrorist from targeting Trump properties around the globe, testifying for Trump transition team members that according to Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid were in daily contact with Russian operatives, ethic violations, constitutional challenges, I’m not confident that the new administration will move beyond “hitting the ground”.


    • Posted by dentss dunnigan on December 17, 2016 at 8:24 am

      we need less government in our lives …if you don’t want to trust a pension save on your own ….you don’t have to buy stocks or bonds ..real estate which lets you leverage your money people have start to take responsibility for their own lives …


      • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 8:30 am

        Being indebted to the likes of Russian will not result in less government in our lives. Take responsibility yes, let’s start by impeaching this a**hole his first day in office!


        • Posted by dentss dunnigan on December 17, 2016 at 10:01 am

          I’m willing to give him a chance first …Obama left us with a boatload of debt ,which will take 1 trillion of our taxes to service it ,and that’s at close to zero interest ,once it starts to rise it will be Obama’s failure that keeps on giving .So Trumps options are fairly limited as to what he can accomplish .


          • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 11:03 am

            Wars cost billions. We will all give the “Siberian Candidate” a chance, as long as it lasts. He’s a corporate debt elimination expert, maybe he and his financier crew can devise a scheme to get 2 cents on the dollar for US debt.


      • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 9:34 am

        I agree, will Christie resign if the legislature passes his book legislation? What a hypocrite, CC fights hard against minimum wage increases for low income workers, $15 an hour is too much. He vetoes wage increase legislation often, but increases for legislators,no problem. Change the ethics code so CC can make millions while getting his state pay, while he’s writing and book touring, seriously? Representatives of the new GOP- Gang of Putin operate on a Kremlin model, let’s reshape the ethics code so BS is the new normal.


        • If anything this should finally convince you their is no two party system ..our democrat legislature pretty much gave CC what he wants on the deal and he give them just what they want higher taxes on us in exchange for raises for themselves .like I always Coke or Pepsi …


          • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

            Gentlemen agreements, CC needs to feed his family, like low income wage earners don’t share that goal, hypocrite.


  4. Posted by Eric on December 17, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Are you serious that you actually believe that the Russians hacked the US elections? The only theft of the US election was Hillary stealing the democratic nomination from Bernie with the blessing of the corrupt US government.
    Comey’s letter and Putin are just scapegoats as to how unpopular Hillary is to middle- America. People could not afford to endure an Obama “third term”
    I am sorry to say that only the severely mentally disabled would believe that Putin hacked the US election. Do not drink the Kool-Aid. You would not have survived the “Jonestown Massacre.” TV is a fantasy land pumped up by the “deep state.”


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 9:45 am

      The very fact that Putin hacked any part of the American election process is totally unacceptable, no matter who was the winner or loser, existing laws and our Constitution provides protections and supports response. You continue to support Putin, he has totally anger the U.S. intelligence community and I don’t think the response will be pretty. As far as Trump and his Transition Team, they will not survive the intense scrutiny. The GOP sold its soul they are now the party of Putin/Trump. Enjoy your vodka, it’s the new replacement for Koolaid. .


      • Posted by dentss dunnigan on December 18, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        So, what did the Russians do, again? I’m confused. I’ve read a whole bunch of DNC emails showing intergovernmental corruption within the US….I thought “if you see something say something ” was the mantra of the NSA …


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 9:49 am

      I get you don’t like Hillary BUT you’re the one drinking Trump’s koolaid.


      • I get you don’t like Hillary BUT
        You and Billary LOST- now stop whining like a little 1st grader who is on time-out from recess…you must have 1/2 of the comments today, all whining about Trump who is not even in office yet…


        • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm

          OK Rickie if you say so – you’re another one of those sit down & shut up squelch freedom of speech consitutioners……


        • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 5:21 pm

          BTW hate to wish bad things on anybody but you deserve a good preexsisting condition and no employer or ACA coverage – then we’ll see who’s whinning, LOL!


        • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 5:41 pm

          TG recess is over on to science class. You’re instructed to firmly grasp your right index finger and insert it into your a-hole, then confirm your brains didn’t get flushed the last time you crapped.

          Sorry the Trump excessive tweet bug has got me, which I noticed you didn’t whine about.


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 9:53 am

      What if “Comey’s letter” was bait to catch bigger fish? We can read real estate documents to trace Trump’s “wealth”, most of us are not fooled. He had no clue the complexities of the U.S. government and his limits. Reality us a great teacher he will know for use January 21.


  5. Posted by Eric on December 17, 2016 at 10:48 am

    I did not vote for either Hillary or for Trump. I am sorry to hear that you follow the so called “approved” news.
    Remember to leave milk and cookies out for Santa!


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Oh so you vote REALLY counted, I like hot chocolate! BTW, IF the Russian election hack is ALL smoke and mirrors then why not welcome an investigation?


      • Posted by dentss dunnigan on December 17, 2016 at 1:23 pm

        So who’s against one …..if any evidence exist let them or it be exposed so we can all see …..but all this he said she said ….or in the words of our president “There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could ever rig America’s elections ….there is no evidence that happened in our past or that there are instances that could happen this time ……so I advise Mr Trump to stop whining “……..Obama Oct 2016


        • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm

          So now the intelligence community including Comey’s FBI believes that Russia tried to influence the outcome of the election Nov. 8, 2016. Investigations take time, this one should now be in Trump Tower with members of the Transition Team, who were in daily contact with the Russian government. I have patience Trump is our President, democracy doesn’t end.


        • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 2:18 pm

          How about some of Trump’s quote, like for one the election is rigged. For and by who?


          • I love quotes …..”There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could ever rig America’s elections ….there is no evidence that happened in our past or that there are instances that could happen this time ……so I advise Mr Trump to stop whining “……..Obama Oct 2016


  6. Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 11:13 am

    This blog deals with issues that require government actions, so bottom line who holds office matters. ” Approved news”, this isn’t an annexed region of Russia, I don’t understand your use of the word “approved”, unless you have visions of controlled thought. I’m thinking ice water to cool Satan, or vodka on the rocks.


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Is there really any doubt that Trump will be the greatest POTUS ever, at least in his twisted little (that does not compute) pbrain.


  7. Posted by Eric on December 17, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    The “Deep State” cannot contemplate a Trump presidency, and any reduction in military spending. The laughable hacking story has not one bit of evidence or proof. Wikileaks offered to verify any proof of hacking. The “Deep State” has refused its offer.
    Wake up! It is the “Deep State” that seeks to overturn the election, not Putin.
    It may even happen due to abject stupidity of the American people.


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Listen Boris, the American people are not stupid, we trust that our intelligence agencies can handle anything Putin and his operatives within the Trump Transition Team, therefore, we proceed with our normal daily lives.


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Wiikileaks is your authentic source – now I know you’ve drank the Trump koolaid.


      • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        Propaganda and disinformation can and is an effective miscommunication tool. No one said the Wikileaks dumps weren’t true, the question was point of origination, motive and intent.


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      So explain the “Deep State”, is this the same “Deep State” the Russian news services. are accusing the CIA of a Trump coup or eventual impeachment?


  8. Posted by George on December 17, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I wonder about the Western Conference of Teamsters. I think they have more than 500,000 participants, and attract new workers (at least until the robots take over). It is not clear why many plans have so few new workers, but some of it might be they cannot compete on wages.

    Costco Teamsters in the East Join Western Conference Pension Plan for First Time


  9. Posted by Eric on December 17, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    One final thought before gladly moving onward regarding your trusting the intelligence agencies of the United States. We all remember how Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and poor Colin Powell was made a fool of with his testimony before the UN using flawed information with CIA Director George Tenet sitting directly behind him. By the way, Powell wanted Tenet sitting behind him as well. Powell considers this fabrication of intelligence a most serious blot or a stain upon his [Powell’s} record to this day.
    I only trust provable evidence, and not propaganda dispensed by the corrupt government to the ignorant masses who cannot think or reason for themselves.
    Yes, the people of the US are intelligent, as you so state, in that they voted for Obama twice, as the citizens of NJ are equally as intelligent, having voted for Christie twice as well. I rest my case regarding this hopeless state of affairs.


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Old tale, many of those employees are dead or retired, if that’s still an issue, maybe Rick Cheney could be prosecuted for his role in that deception. Eric this matter isn’t dependent on what you need, after the holidays, Trump and his deception squad will begin to face their reality courtesy of federal career professionals.


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 17, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Fair to say most if not all politicians and corporate executives are, at some level, CORRUPT. It seems the brain functioning voting population has to decide, depending on their food chain pecking order, which party’s/candidate’s economic and environmental policies have their best interest. Unless their deciding solely based upon social policies like pro life or choice and same sex marriage, etc.


      • Posted by Anonymous on December 18, 2016 at 9:34 am

        The interesting thing about the Trump corporate corruption cabinet is federal laws and regulations will expose and address. Not the same ballgame, extreme exposure to public scrutiny. I hope pension protections aren’t overturned. Minimum wage becomes a living wage, workers rights and safety protected.


        • Posted by Anonymous on December 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm

          Is there really any doubt on the future direction of policy concerns you raised? The only thing in question is does Trump last four years?


  10. Posted by George on December 18, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Reading the feed at Pension Tsunami I could a curiosity. Stanislaus Ca has a retirement system separate from the state run plan Calpers. So I wonder if it is better or worse run. They claim to be 75% funded.


  11. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on December 18, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    How much is an ironworker worth? (Local 17, Ohio)

    Looks like about $60,000 plus, if he works near full time.
    Average pay for all occupations in Ohio is $44,750.

    Click to access RATE-MAY.16-APR.17cms.pdf

    (And what happened in 2004?)

    It looks like, in 2004, there was a major reduction in the DB pension formula (page 618 in the link below.)

    Click to access Checklist%20Item%2036-%20part%205A.pdf

    “For Example. If you started working in 1988 and earned one full Benefit Credit
    each year through 2008, you would have 20 full Benefit Credits. Since you
    earned Benefit Credits in the Plan Years which ended April 30, 2001 and 2002,
    you would be entitled to bring all of your Benefit Credits up to the $100.00 per
    Benefit Credit rate through October 31, 2004. Each Benefit Credit earned from
    November 1, 2004 through April 30, 2008, was at the $50.00 per Benefit Creditrate. Your monthly pension benefit would be $1,800.00 per month [(16 x
    $100.00) + (4 x $50.00) = $1,800]. ”
    Just a guess, maybe the 401(k) was started in 2004, when the DB was reduced.

    Note, in the wage data, there is a $10 per hour non-taxable fringe benefit for “pension”. Plus a $3.10 per hour non-taxable fringe benefit for “annuity.”


  12. Posted by Anonymous on December 18, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Love them GOP angels! Hey Eric & Co. where’s that great source for information called wikileaks now? Nope all quiet b/c their job is done.


    • Posted by Anonymous on December 19, 2016 at 5:52 am

      Love the link, the Gang of Putin aka GOP only cares about the bottom line, they are in power, by whatever means necessary, in this case Russian intervention.


      • Posted by Anonymous on December 19, 2016 at 9:43 am

        Billary and the Trump American supporters severely underestimated his psychopathic desire to do whatever it takes to win. It’s all about ego and weatlh for him and his close circle of elitist.


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