Breaking News: NYS Teamsters Conference Pension Fund Gets MPRA Letter

On August 30, 2016 trustees of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund out of Syracuse, NY became the ninth multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency. On April 5, 2017 they withdrew that application and on May 15, 2017 they refiled. Yesterday they got their letter:

Approved.

From their latest 5500 form here is the plan’s relevant data:

Plan Name: New York State Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Fund
EIN/PN: 16-6063585/074
Total participants @ 12/31/15: 34,270 including:
Retirees: 15,936
Separated but entitled to benefits: 6,758
Still working: 11,576

Asset Value (Market) @ 1/1/15: 1,561,393,592
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.51%) @ 1/1/15: $5,853,996,515 including:
Retirees: $3,667,708,376
Separated but entitled to benefits: $569,054,431
Still working: $1,617,233,708

Funded ratio: 26.67%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/15: $4,292,602,923

Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/15: $1,381,300,242
Contributions: $118,647,969
Payouts: $280,144,632
Expenses: $19,055,508

14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on August 5, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    $200 monthly haircut does not seem all that catastrophic to me.

    Reply

  2. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on August 5, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    “$200 monthly haircut does not seem all that catastrophic to me.”

    Cause you are a glass-half-full kind of guy. This is a PDF linked above. Sounds like they are discussing a 20-30% cut.

    https://www.treasury.gov/services/KlineMillerApplications/01NYSTPF%20MPRA%20App%20Exhibits%2001%20to%2013.pdf

    APPENDIX C – CHECKLIST Page 11.

    “Specifically, they compared Non-Active Participants who retired with 30 years of service to Active Participants with varying credit to date, but who will retire in the future
    with 30 years of service. Specifically, a retiree with over 30 years of service is estimated to have a monthly benefit of $5,000 before any reduction for form of payment as of July 1, 2017. Under the proposed suspension, this retiree’s benefit would be reduced to $3,450 after a 31% reduction. By comparison, an Active Participant who currently has 20 years of service will retire after 30 years of service with an estimated monthly benefit of $4,100. With a 20% benefit suspension (on the portion of the accrued benefit earned prior to July 1, 2017), this Active Participant would have a reduced benefit of $3,490. Using another comparison, an Active Participant with 10 years of service and 20 years of future service will have a total estimated monthly benefit of $3,500. After a 20% benefit suspension (on the portion of the accrued benefit earned prior to July 1, 2017), this Active Participant would have a reduced benefit amount of $3,240. Lastly, a newly hired Active Participant (not subject to suspension) with 30 years of future service will have a total estimated monthly benefit of $3,350.”

    Too bad. Information on public pay and pensions are by now available to all if you know where to look. Private compensation not so much.

    The above example looks very comfortable (before the cuts). $5,000 after thirty years. In the other teamster examples I have seen are $5,000 after 30 @ any age. One could conceivably retire at 55 with $5,000 a month. A lot of state and city workers wouldn’t mind that.

    Bad news, their cut is much bigger than $200. Good news, they will still have $3,300 to $3,500/mo. Plus SS when they hit 65.

    SMH

    Reply

  3. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on August 6, 2017 at 1:44 am

    It looks like they are anticipating 20-30 percent cuts. On the union FB page it seems there is a movement to vote down the MPRA action because it is unfair. I don’t know if many of the workers or retirees understand what will surely happen without these relatively minor cuts. (Minor as compared to total collapse.)
    They don’t seem to agree on whom to blame.
    Also, I believe MPRA could force the cuts even with a “no” vote, if the fund is in bad enough shape and…
    These cuts may not be enough to save the system anyway, depending on future economic conditions. There may be more cuts to come.

    Keep your eye on this situation. It may be coming to a city or state near you.

    SMH

    Reply

  4. Posted by bpaterson on August 8, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    something doesnt make sense mathematically: when you divide the contributions by present workers ($118m/11.5k) you get an average contrib amount of $10,000/year a worker. (wow) However when you divide the payout amount by the retirees ($280m/22.7k) you get an average pension amount of only $12,000/year. I know averages can be deceiving but on the face, something is amiss.

    Reply

  5. […] quote from a Reuters article on the voting by participants in the NYS Teamsters Pension Fund to accept benefit […]

    Reply

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