New Report Analyzes Impact of Lingering Pension Reform Impasse in Congress

June 26, 2019

MCAA, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA), and Horizon Actuarial Services have released a new report, Multiemployer Pension Plan Reform Policy Issues (June 2019). The report analyzes how the impact of the lingering pension reform impasse in Congress adversely affects active participants in MCAA/UA pension plans and highlights inequities in benefit levels.

“Active participants face higher contributions and lower benefit levels as funding challenges mount and are left unaddressed by Congress,” the report and analysis conclude.

MCAA President Brian Helm and UA General President Mark McManus stressed in a joint letter on the report, “Congressional reforms must include judicious consideration and equitable balancing of the burden of reform on all stakeholders in the system, including current active participants, vested/inactives, retirees and their beneficiaries, and contributing employers so as to bolster the sustainability of the system going forward.”

The joint UA/MCAA letter accompanying the report calls for Congressional action this year, with McManus and Helm citing UA and MCAA full support for the Common Sense Principles for Multiemployer Reform issued by the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) and a broad coalition of employer and labor groups across the country.

The report analyzes pension and benefit levels for a sample of representative active participants in plans who began their careers in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s and “reveals that current active participants are contributing more and receiving lower benefits as compared with their predecessors.” The analysis concludes that, “Policy makers should be mindful of these inequities when considering potential changes to the funding rules and should make every effort to minimize the burden placed on the current generation of plan participants.”

MCAA is releasing the report in a meeting with the new Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), Gordon Hartogensis, on June 26, 2019, at the PBGC offices.

After that, MCAA and the UA will be distributing the report to Congressional Committees with jurisdiction over pension reform in anticipation of an upcoming hearing on the issue before the House Ways and Means Committee shortly after the Fourth of July Congressional recess.

For More Information

Contact John McNerney (MCAA) at 301-869-5800 or Ben Ablin, ASA, EA (Horizon Actuarial Services), the principal author of the report and analysis, at 240-247-4542 for additional information or assistance with any questions.

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