Multiemployer Pension Plans in 'Dire' Shape, Government Monitor Says

By Higgins, Sean | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, November 28, 2017 | Go to article overview

Multiemployer Pension Plans in 'Dire' Shape, Government Monitor Says


Higgins, Sean, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Multiemployer pension programs are in dire shape, the director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation told a congressional panel Wednesday, with the plan having liabilities of $67.3 billion but assets of just $2.3 billion to cover them.

"Projections show that the program is likely to become insolvent by the end of 2025, absent changes in law," PBGC Director Thomas Reeder told the House Education and the Workforce Committee, according to prepared testimony provided to the Washington Examiner.

The news will increase pressure on Congress to bail out the funds with taxpayer money. Lawmakers, led by Democrats, have sought to do so in recent Congresses, but the efforts have gained little traction.

Multiemployer plans involve several companies and unions jointly managing a pension fund for all of the workers. The plans are favored by unions because they remain with the workers even if they switch jobs. However, they can be risky for businesses because if one employer goes bankrupt, the others are legally obligated to cover its contribution.

The PBGC is the federally-created entity charged with monitoring and protecting the plans. It is self-funded through premiums paid by the corporations whose plans it monitors. Its multiemployer pension program protects 10 million workers and retirees in about 1,400 plans. …

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Multiemployer Pension Plans in 'Dire' Shape, Government Monitor Says
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