The Western States Office and Professional Employees Pension Fund out of Portland, OR just became the eleventh multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency.
From their latest 5500 filing here is the plan’s relevant data:
The GAO report on high-risk federal government programs had in their PBGC section an accounting of how the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) was doing:
As of January 2017, 10 pension plans had submitted 11 applications to suspend benefits under MPRA. (4 applications have been denied, 2 were withdrawn, 4 are under review, and 1 has been approved.)
In checking the MPRA website it looks like those numbers have changed and it is not new applications or decisions on old ones but in the withdrawals.
It’s Super Bowl time which, for some of us, means that the new 5500 for the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan is out and we get a better idea of how much Tom Brady really has in common with a Cleveland Iron Worker.
On December 16, 2016 the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Fund became the first (and only) multemployer (union) plan allowed to reduce benefits under MPRA by, in this case:
when all Participants are considered, the average monthly benefits will be reduced under the Suspension Plan by 20%, from $1,401 to $1,120.
However, for those benefit cuts to go into effect as of February 1, 2017, a majority of 1,938 eligible plan participants and beneficiaries had to vote for it. Yesterday the results of that vote were released:
Health benefits are the immediate concern as participants in the United Mine Workers of America 1974 (UMWA) Pension Plan are unlikely to see any significant cuts in their pensions primarily because the average retiree receives about $6,900 annually, far less than the PBGC guarantee, so even after exhaustion of all trust assets by 2025 the Mine Workers will likely have the PBGC continuing to pay most of their benefits (unless of course the PBGC itself goes belly-up by then too).
Yesterday S175 was introduced by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.):
A bill to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to transfer certain funds to the Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan and the 1974 United Mine Workers of America Pension Plan, and for other purposes.
Immediately following S176 was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell titled:
A bill to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to transfer certain funds to the Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan, and for other purposes.
Both bills propose funneling money past April from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to pay health benefits to “orphaned” retired miners and their dependents left adrift by coal companies that have gone bankrupt. However S175 also wants the UMWA Pension Plan to get some money. The question is from where? Continue reading
This Friday, January 20, a particularly farcical election cycle, where outcomes are predetermined as the voting public is anesthetized to real issues by a spate of diversions and misinformation, will end.
Among the revenue items in Donald Trump’s 2015 Financial Disclosure form is this:
The 2016 form has this:
How did Donald Trump get a $110,228 pension that rose to $168.584 in one year under a multiemployer (union) plan? Two things of note: