Archive for the ‘Multiemployer Pensions’ Category

Central States Update

This is the plan that will take down the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and eventually the entire US pension system. So how much trouble is the Central States Pension Fund in after they were denied MPRA relief last year? You get a pretty good idea from their recently filed 5500 form for 2016.

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Breaking News: Another Union Plan Withdraws

The Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Plan out of Austintown, OH was the fifteenth (and last) multiemployer plan to file for benefit suspensions under MPRA. Today a letter popped up on the MPRA website withdrawing that application.

Also this week they submitted their 5500 filing for 2016 updating their funded status:

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Breaking News: Local 805 Withdraws

Local 805 Pension Fund of New York, NY just popped up with a letter on the MPRA website withdrawing their application for benefit suspensions.

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Breaking News: Western States Refiles

Last February the Western States Office and Professional Employees Pension Fund out of Portland, OR became the eleventh multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency. Last month that application was withdrawn. Yesterday it appeared as being refiled.

So what changed?

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Breaking News on NYS Teamsters Vote and MPRA Update

In checking the US Treasury’s MPRA website today we find that The Western State Office and Professional Employees Pension Fund withdrew their application on August 11 and the result of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension Fund vote on suspending benefits was released. My prediction had been:

My guess, since there seems to be an effort to get ‘no’ votes, is 10,000 against, 5,000 for, and 20,000 not voting which means the benefit cuts get approved overwhelmingly, 25,000 to 10,000.

How close did I get?

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“Biggest Pension Event In My Lifetime”

My quote from a Reuters article on the voting by participants in the NYS Teamsters Pension Fund to accept benefit cuts:

The vote is “probably the biggest pension event in my lifetime,” said John Bury of Bury and Associates Inc of Union, New Jersey, who advises pension plans.

Here is the reasoning behind that statement.

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Daily News Cost: $1 Plus…..

According to the New York Times article:

The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that Tronc purchased The News for just $1, plus the assumption of liabilities.

….

Under the terms of the deal, Tronc assumes control of The News’s operations, its printing plant in Jersey City and its pension liability. Tronc will also receive a 49.9 percent interest in the 25-acre property overlooking Manhattan where the printing plant is. It was not immediately clear what The News’s pension liabilities were; however, previous reports indicated that they were worth more than $30 million.

As of the end of 2015 the Daily News itself sponsored a 401(k) plan for 1,371 of its employees (1,082 of whom participated) who made total 401(k) deferrals of $6,315,775 which were matched by modest company contributions of $453,476. There was also a Cash Balance Plan with a funded ratio of 105.23% that was closed to most new employees after 1992 and only had 184 active participants. Not much of a pension liability there.

But then it gets murky since it was reported that there were 10 separate unions covering Daily News employees who likely were in multiemployer plans with massive unfunded liabilities. In a prior blog we came up with a list of multiemployer plans sorted by name taken from 5500 filings for 2014. Contributing employers to multiemployer plans are listed in Part V of Schedule R which would make it easy to search efast data except for the fact that Schedule R – Part V information, for some reason, is excluded from what you can download. You have to go to each plan filing individually, guessing at which union Daily News employees might be in, and then seeing if they appear in Part V. Here is the best I could come up with:

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