PENSION FUND INTEGRITY ACT
Introduced on Apr. 28, 2016
TREASURY DEPT. DENIES CENTRAL STATES APPLICATION TO REDUCE BENEFITS
PENSION RIGHTS CENTER RESPONSE
ACT NOW 2016
Show your support for the
Keep Our Pension Promises Act today !
COMMITTEES to PROTECT PENSIONS(CPP) welcomes & supports these Committees striving to prevent intended & implemented benefit cuts from their Multiemployer Pension Fund also
NEW YORK STATE (NYS) TEAMSTER PENSION FUND
ROAD CARRIERS LOCAL 707 PENSION FUND, HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.
PARTICIPANTS OF NEW YORK STATE TEAMSTERS CONFERENCE AND BENEFIT FUND
MICHIGAN REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MACHINISTS PENSION COMMITTEE
WESTERN PA TEAMSTERS & SPENSION FUND PROTECTION
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (IA-R)
Grassley Seeks GAO Review of Labor Dept.'s Oversight of Central States Pension Fund
DEMOCRATS IN HOUSE & SENATE SEEK GAO INQUIRY
GAO's RESPONSE --
PENSION PLANS THAT HAVE APPLIED TO CUT BENEFITS UNDER THE MULTIEMPLOYER PENSION REFORM ACT
SEPT. 22, 2016 HEARING TO MODERNIZE MULTIEMPLOYER PENSIONS - view live
LETTER TO CONGRESS
UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA (UMWA) UPDATES ON MINERS PROTECTION ACT
AMERICAN MINERS PENSION
ACT (AMP)ACT INTRODUCED
October 3, 2017
SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE SECUREMENT ONGOING UPDATES
MARCH 1, 2017
PENSION ACCOUNTABILITY ACT REINTRODUCED
NUCPP - NATIONAL UNITED COMMITTEE TO PROTECT PENSIONS
"The NUCPP is comprised of a nationwide group of local and regional Independent Committees of Retired & Active workers dedicated to preserving our earned Pension Plan Benefits, Social Security Benefits and Medicare Benefits. We are a 501(c)(5) non-profit organization."
MAY 9, 2017
KEEP OUR PENSION PROMISES ACT RE-INTRODUCTION & DAY OF ACTION
YouTube - Event Video
YouTube - Event Video (capsulized)
LATEST 2017 (Jun-Aug) UPDATES from the PENSION RIGHTS CENTER (PRC)
NEW WEBSITE DEVELOPED !!
Updates on Financial Information, Analytical Perspectives & Current Proposals
October 3, 2017
PENSION ACT INTRODUCED
NOVEMBER 16, 2017
A bill introduced to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to create a Pension Rehabilitation Trust Fund to establish a Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Department of the Treasury to make loans to multiemployer defined benefit plans, and for other purposes.
The Butch Lewis Act of 2017 FAQs
QUICK SUMMARY: This legislation aims at financially supporting troubled multiemployer pension plans so they don’t fail. The bill would create the Pension Rehabilitation Administration as an agency within the U.S. Treasury Department. The PRA would sell Treasury- issued bonds in the open market to large investors such as financial firms. The PRA would then lend the money from the sale of the bonds to the financially troubled pension plans. For plans that need additional assistance, PBGC would provide financial assistance to make up the difference.
1. How does borrowing enable plans to ensure retirees get their full benefit?
The pension plans borrowing from the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA) must set aside the money in separate investments that match the pension payments for retirees. The pension plans can do this by buying annuities, cash matching with investment grade bonds, or duration matching with a suitable bond portfolio. Whichever approach is taken retirees and their families are guaranteed their promised benefits and the loan proceeds may never be invested in risky investments.
2. How much is borrowed and on what terms?
Pension plans may borrow as much money as they need to pay current retiree and beneficiary pensions for life at low interest rates comparable to that on a long term Treasury bonds as long as they can show they can remain solvent during the loan period and that they can reasonably pay it back (see question 5 for what happens if they can’t show this). The interest rate the PRA will charge pension funds may be slightly higher than the interest rate the Treasury will pay to investors, so it can cover its costs of operating the new agency.
During the first 29 years of the 30-year loans, the pension plans will pay only fixed interest rates on the money they’ve borrowed. In the last year, the pension plans will pay interest on the loans and repay all money they borrowed.
3. Is there oversight?
Pension plans applying for loans to the PRA must submit detailed financial projections. The PRA will have to approve all the loans before they can be issued. Pension plans that have borrowed money must submit reports every three years to the PRA to show that the loans are working and take steps if their financial condition begins to deteriorate.
4. Who can apply for the program?
The following types of plans may apply for PRA loans: Critical and Declining plans (within the meaning of section 305(b)(6)), recently insolvent but non-terminated plans, and plans that have suspended benefits under MPRA.
5. Will this work for all troubled plans?
The bill is meant to provide assistance to all plans covered by the program but the loans alone
will not be sufficient to help all the financially troubled pension plans. Some plans will need
additional help from the government. The bill proposes that the Pension Benefit Guaranty
Corporation (PBGC) would provide that help and that would require Congress to provide
funding to the PBGC. The PBGC would support part of the pension plans’ payments for retired
and terminated vested workers, up to its statutory guaranteed cap on benefits for deeply
6. When would a plan get PBGC assistance?
When a plan is preparing their application for a PRA loan and has determined that it cannot
maintain solvency with the loan alone, the plan would also apply to the PBGC for PBGC
assistance. Plans cannot apply for PBGC assistance if they cannot demonstrate that they would
need it in addition to a loan.
7. What happens to withdrawal liability?
There are two considerations for withdrawal liability: first, how to calculate withdrawal liability
as it relates to the annuity purchases for participants in pay status and, second, how new
withdrawal liability requirements under the bill affect total withdrawal liability amounts.
While some plan annuity purchases are akin to a partial termination and, therefore, are
excluded from liability calculations, this is not the case with annuities purchased under the
provisions of this bill. A plan participating in the PRA loan program must still count the benefits
covered by the annuity contracts (or, if greater, the remaining payments due on the loan) when
determining an employer’s withdrawal liability.
The bill also includes a new rule for calculating withdrawal liability. If an employer withdraws
from the Plan during the term of the loan, withdrawal liability of that employer will be
determined as if it were a mass withdrawal. Specifically, the plan must eliminate the 20-year
cap on the number of withdrawal liability payments and require the withdrawing employer to
pay its share of reallocation liability (see ERISA 4219(c)(1)(D)). Furthermore, PBGC singleemployer
plan termination actuarial assumptions must be used to value benefits when
calculating withdrawal liability.
8. What happens if a plan cannot pay back the loan?
If a plan has difficulty paying back its loan, the PRA must negotiate revised terms for
repayment. These terms may include installment payments over a reasonable period and, if the
PRA deems necessary to avoid any suspension of the accrued benefits of participants,
forgiveness of a portion of the loan principal.
9. What kind of annuity can be purchase?
While we think it is important to give plans the flexibility to choose the best vehicle for them,
and the kinds of annuity vehicles grows every day, plans should purchase annuities that
function similar to a fixed income annuity—that is a fixed (as opposed to variable) annuity that
provides fixed payments over the term.
10. What is a cash-matching portfolio?
The bill permits plans to segregate PRA Loan proceeds into cash-matching portfolios. A cash
matching investment portfolio allows an investor to invest in securities with a certain expected
return so that the investor will be able to pay for future liabilities. Cash matching portfolios are
often recommended for retirees living off the income they make from the portfolio because
they guarantee stable continuous payments similar to a fixed income annuity.
11. What is the government guarantee of the loan?
The loans are paid for with the proceeds from the sale of Treasury Bonds. The bonds will be
backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The PRA will not have trouble raising
the money because investors want long term bonds that carry little risk.
12. Do retirees lose PBGC protection?
No. The plan will still pay premiums to PBGC for all participants including retirees. And while
the bill makes plan insolvency for non-terminated plans very difficult, if a plan were to go
insolvent, PBGC would provide their guaranty for all participants in the plan.
13. How can the PBGC afford to provide financial assistance?
PBGC would not be required to pay financial assistance from its normal funding source. Instead,
the bill includes a provision to provide PBGC with appropriated funds equal to the amounts as
may be necessary for each fiscal year to provide the financial assistance described in the bill.
14. What are the criteria for approval?
To be approved for a PRA loan a plan must, at a minimum demonstrate that the loan will enable
the plan to avoid (or emerge from) insolvency for at least the 30 year loan period and that the
plan is reasonably expected to be able to pay benefits and the interest on the loan during such
period and to accumulate sufficient funds to repay the principal when due. The PRA may
request that the plan provide additional demonstrations prior to approval.
15. How long does the PRA have to review the applications?
The PRA must approve or deny an application within 90 days after the submission of such
application. An application will be deemed approved unless, within those 90 days, the Director
notifies the plan sponsor that the determinations or demonstrations in the application are
clearly in error.
16. How much financial assistance is PBGC providing to critical and declining plans?
If a critical and declining plan needs PBGC assistance to remain solvent (not all plans will), PBGC
assistance is available. The intent of this bill is for those plans that need it, PBGC will ensure
they emerge from insolvency and thrive in the long term. With that in mind, If a plan’s
application is approved and PBGC assistance is required, PBGC would provide enough financial
assistance so that, in combination with the loan, the plan would no longer face insolvency.
17. Is there a limit on PBGC financial assistance to critical and declining plans?
The only limit on PBGC financial assistance to critical and declining plans is that, generally
speaking, PBGC should not pay more than it would pay if the plan were to go insolvent on the
day the plan submits its application.
WASHINGTON | November 29, 2017
House Subcommittee Examines the Mounting Multiemployer Pension Problem