Archive for the ‘Multiemployer Pensions’ Category

Breaking News: MPRA Twofer Resolutions

This morning the MPRA website listed three multiemployer plan “in review”. This afternoon there is only the one that was submitted two weeks ago as the the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Local No. 7 Pension Plan  got a short approval letter and the American Federation Of Musicians And Employers Pension Fund, which would have been the largest plan to cut benefits, got the longest denial letter to date, excerpted below.

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Treasury To Deny Musicians

The MPRA website lists the American Federation Of Musicians And Employers Pension Fund submitting on December 31, 2019 an application to cut benefits with the comment period ended on March 2, 2020.

Last month the Treasury Department announced it is looking for more comments even though the Musicians’ plan had by far the most comments of any submission.

So what’s going on? According to planadviser:

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Breaking News: New MPRA Filing

Appearing this afternoon on the MPRA website, Building Material Drivers Local 436 Pension Fund  out of Valley View, OH filed to cut benefits.

From their latest 5500 filing:

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Looking For More Musician Feedback

The MPRA website lists only two plans “in review” on their applications to reduce benefits.

  1. Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen Local 7 Pension Fund (3rd Application) submitted on May 29, 2020 with the comment period ending on July 23, 2020.
  2. American Federation Of Musicians And Employers Pension Fund submitted on December 31, 2019 with the comment period ended on March 2, 2020.

So what’s holding up the decision on the Musicians’ plan?

Apparently the Treasury Department is looking for more comments even though, based on data still available on the 28 plans that filed so far, the Musicians’ plan has by far the most comments:

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Bricklayers 7 Refile (Again)

Second three-time filer (Western States was the first) as the MPRA website showed that the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Local No. 7 Pension Plan out of Austintown, OH (which was the sixth plan to file and then withdrew, refiled, withdrew) refiled again at at time when they might have $7 million left in the fund and negative cash flow of $2.5 million according to their latest 5500 filing:

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Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plan Data

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released Data on Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans.

Excerpts and some updated charts follow:

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Breaking News: Bricklayers Withdraw

Earlier this year the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Local No. 7 Pension Plan out of Austintown, OH (which was the sixth plan to file and then withdrew their application) refiled. Today that application has been withdrawn even though they might now have $7 million left in the fund and negative cash flow of $2.5 million according to their latest 5500 filing:

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Heroes Act Summary

Though unlikely to be enacted now H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act, could be a portent of what we get with a Biden administration so, with that in mind, here are some excerpts taken from a summary prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Appropriations dealing with pension matters of interest (to me).

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MPRA Benefit Cut Impact

Both the Intl Assoc. of Machinists Motor City Pension Fund and the Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan were allowed in 2018 to cut benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA) and both have June 30 plan year ends so we now have those full year 6/30/19 5500 filings to make comparisons.

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UMWA 5500 Update – 6/30/19

Last year retired coal miners traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby lawmakers to put in place a federal safety net in case the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) pension fund fails. Coal plant closures and company bankruptcies have sent the pension fund to the edge of collapse. In October, 2019 Murray Energy, the last major company propping up the dwindling fund, also went bankrupt and the prediction was insolvency in FY23.

On April 15, 2020 (eschewing the three month Covid filing extension) the plan submitted their 5500 form for the year ended 6/30/19 confirming the timeline. Continue reading