Archive for the ‘Multiemployer Pensions’ Category

MPRA Approved Plan Update

Bernie Sanders is right:

Speaking at the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers legislative conference in Washington, Sanders decried the passage of a 2014 law empowering the Treasury Department to approve cuts to multiemployer pension plans that are at risk of running out of money before all benefits are paid out.

“This should not be happening in the United States of America. A promise made must be a promise kept,” Sanders said to applause. “If I’m elected president, my administration will impose an immediate moratorium on any future pension cuts to multiemployer pension plans.”

That plan, Sanders said, involves appointing a Treasury secretary who will agree not to approve cuts to such pension plans.

He also pledged to “reverse the pension cuts the Trump administration has already approved” and push legislation that would permanently ban such deep cuts.

I agree this should not be happening here and the fact it has happened speaks volumes about legislators, like Sanders, who, on the financial advice of their donor-base, largely ignored the crisis until a bailout became their only solution.

Let’s look at the numbers* for those 14 plans approved for benefit cuts under MPRA.

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Breaking News: Another Union Plan Approved for Benefit Cuts

The MPRA webstie popped up with another multiemployer plan resolution. This time it was the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund out of Pittsburgh, PA that will cut benefits.

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Breaking News: Another MPRA Plan Refiles

According to the MPRA website a second plan is now under review. After withdrawing their first application in October, the Sheet Metal Workers Pension Fund of Massillon, OH refiled.

From their latest 5500:

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MPRA Approved Plans Update

So far there have been twelve plans approved for benefit cuts under MPRA:

  1. Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan, Second Application – June 8, 2018
  2. Intl Assoc. Of Machinists Motor City Pension Fund – December 13, 2017
  3. Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund – January 27, 2017
  4. Ironworkers Local 16 Pension Fund, Second Application – September 24, 2018
  5. Local 805 Ibt Pension & Retirement Plan Second Application – November 16, 2018
  6. Mid-Jersey Trucking Industry and Local 701 Pension Fund – March 21, 2019
  7. New York State Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Fund – September 13, 2017
  8. Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 94 & Pension Fund –  December 20, 2018
  9. Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Second Application – March 21, 2019
  10. Toledo Roofers Local No 134 Pension Plan – March 21, 2019
  11. United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A – August 31, 2017
  12. Western States Office & Professional Employees Pension Fund Third Application – September 14, 2018

And one plan that got a Proposal Approval letter but not a Final Authorization letter:

  1. Plasterers Local #82 Pension Plan – November 8, 2018

We now have data on one plan that has gone through a full year of benefit cuts as reported on their 5500 filings.

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Breaking News: One MPRA Plan Left

The MPRA webstie popped up with another multiemployer plan resolution leaving only the Western Pa Teamsters & Employees Pension Plan in review.

This time it was the I.B.E.W. Local Union No. 237 Pension Plan out of Niagara Falls, NY which withdrew their application.

Excerpts from their latest 5500 filing:

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UMWA 5500 Update

Last month retired coal miners traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby lawmakers and put in place a federal safety net in case the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) pension fund fails. Recent coal plant closures and company bankruptcies have sent the pension fund to the edge of collapse. The fund will likely dry up by 2022, and possibly earlier if Murray Energy, the last major company propping up the dwindling fund, fails.

Last week the plan submitted their 5500 form for the year ended 6/30/18 which confirmed that projected dry-up date:

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AAA Answers to Congress

Following up on last month’s Congressional hearing on the multiemployer plan crisis legislators had three questions of the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) which I paraphrase:

  1. How did PPA work out for single-employer plans?
  2. How do multiemployer actuaries pick a funding interest rate?
  3. What should we do now?

I also paraphrase the responses:

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