Archive for the ‘Multiemployer Pensions’ Category

Bailout Bill Report (1): Summary

Here is what I got from reading the Ways & Means Committee Report on H.R. 397 starting with this blog summarizing the salient points in the bill:

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Breaking News: Bailout Bill Report Out

The committee report on H.R. 397 just came online.

Feel free to go through the 153 pages and comment – or wait until Sunday night when I print excepts of interest.

Multiemployer Bailout Bill Coming

According to rolllcal.com, the bill, as advanced by the Ways and Means panel on a 25-17 party-line vote last week though it included no revenue or spending offsets to pay for the legislation, will come up for a vote in the House next week.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget argued the legislation “could ultimately cost substantially more” than $64 billion because of a “relatively gimmicky loan approach” where pension funds get interest-only loans for 29 years and then pay a balloon payment including the full principal in year 30. Their blog hints at the real time bomb and it’s not in this bill.

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Cheiron For Bailout

Gene Kalwarski, CEO of Cheiron Inc., had an opinion piece in the Hill yesterday looking to “set the record straight about America’s multiemployer pension crisis” that began:

Just days ahead of the House Ways and Means Committee’s planned markup of legislation that would offer government loans for struggling multiemployer pension plans, conservative academics have launched an all-out attack on the bill.

The legislation, The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, is a rebranding of the Butch Lewis Act introduced in November 2017 by Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

In a June 27 commentary in the Hill, Olivia Mitchell, an economist who teaches at the Wharton School, called the legislation “A step in the wrong direction.”

Far from it.

For Mr. Kalwarski and his company, true. But for participants in mulitemployer plans who are having (and will continue to have) their benefits cut, not so much.

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UMW Pension Reason for Coal Company Bankruptcies

Why the spate of coal company bankruptcies? These guys throw out some ideas:
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Searching through coal company names linked to bankruptcy we find:

Coincidentally, these were some of the largest contributors to the the United Mine Workers (UMW) of America 1974 Pension Plan in 2009 as identified on the Schedule R attachments to the 5500 filings where companies who contribute at least 5% the total contribution for any year need to be identified. Putting those numbers (with SB totals) into a spreadsheet we find:

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MPRA Approval Vote Landslide

On May 7, 2019 the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund out of Pittsburgh, PA got the go-ahead from the Department of the Treasury to cut benefits. However, as in any purported democracy, the people needed to vote on it. Today the MPRA website posted a letter dated June 20, 2019 revealing the results of that vote. It was a landslide.

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Bailout Bill To Pass Committee Tomorrow

According to P&I:

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