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  #821  
Old 11-03-2019, 07:47 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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MINEWORKERS

https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...alling-widows/

Quote:
UMW Snowballing Widows
Spoiler:
Spurred by Murray Energy’s bankruptcy this week Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) looked to move the multiemployer bailout bill warning:
.


.
For Senator Munchin’s full Senate speech (along with what was probably Guy Clark’s last public performance) see the bottom of this blog.

As it stands he is wrong. 5500 data shows that about 30% of the retirees are beneficiaries (25,580 out of 83,877) while the average monthly pension is about $800 ($613,836,688 total annual payouts). Most importantly, a widowed beneficiary is likely to keep getting a large part of that monthly pension as long as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) exists.

To see a list of those who would have payments eliminated you can check out the Schedule C attachments to the United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan 5500 filings which show service providers who get at least $5,000 annually from plan assets. Many are getting less lately (though not the plan trustees):








That 5500 reports about $2.4 billion in assets as of 6/30/18 and negative cash flow of $600 million. With no new money coming in and anticipated payouts to rise as laid off coal miners look for lump sums or early retirements to survive, the money will run out in early 2021 and the PBGC would be on the hook for what should be about a billion dollars annually. Will that sink the PBGC multiemployer program? If so then that’s when the widows could have their $600 monthly payouts eliminated.

.
.


.

[not copying over pictures or videos] Go to link
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  #822  
Old 11-03-2019, 07:49 AM
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BAILOUT
MINEWORKERS

https://www.heritage.org/budget-and-...rQnxGHsZi06b-s

Quote:
The Miners Pension Protection Act: A Pension Safeguard or a Taxpayer Bailout of One Private Union Pension Plan?

SUMMARYCurrent bills in congress to bail out one union-run pension plan without doing anything to fix the root of the problem would cause more harm than good. Multiemployer pension plans face a $638 billion shortfall, and if Congress bails out this plan or any other without enacting comprehensive reforms to require unions and employers to make good on their promises, the shortfalls will only continue to grow. Congress should protect coal miners and 10 million other workers with multiemployer pensions by maintaining the PBGC’s solvency, fixing the rules so that this never happens again, and helping plans to minimize pension losses. Taxpayers should never be required to bail out private-sector pension plans.
KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. Employee unions promised workers $638 billion more in pension benefits than they set aside to pay. Employers and unions—not taxpayers—must be accountable.

2. The Miners Pension Protection Act—a bailout without reform for just one out of nearly 1,400 union plans—would open the door to much larger bailouts.

3. Congress can protect retirees and taxpayers by maintaining PBGC solvency, holding promisors accountable for their promises, and minimizing pension losses.
Full report at link.
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  #823  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:01 AM
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MINEWORKERS

https://www.politico.com/newsletters...ensions-781821
Quote:
Coal bankruptcy will likely hit miner pensions

— A bankruptcy filing by the coal company Murray Energy is expected to cut United Mine Worker retirees’ pensions.


Spoiler:
BANKRUPTCY THREATENS MINER PENSIONS: The largest private coal mining company in the U.S. announced Monday that it filed for bankruptcy protection — setting in motion proceedings that will likely cut pensions for thousands of coal miners represented by the United Mine Workers, POLITICO’s Rebecca Rainey reports. The news marks the eighth bankruptcy announcement from a coal company in the past year. Murray Energy was the last major employer contributing to the UMW’s 1974 Pension Plan and Trust, which is projected to go insolvent by 2022.

The potential hit to miners and their families in multiple Rust Belt states could motivate Republicans to move on legislation to address failing multiemployer pensions -- or at least on a proposal to shore up the UMW plan, Rainey writes. “It's devastating, long term. Not only for the employees and production, but it's emblematic of what's happened in the industry,” Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) told POLITICO. If the bankruptcy court allows Murray Energy to discontinue payments into the pension fund, as is expected, the result will be "catastrophic ... for the 120,000 coal miners and retirees and their families,” he warned.

If Congress doesn't pass legislation to address failing multiemployer pension plans, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which insures those pensions, is projected to become insolvent in 2025 -- a prospect that could eliminate retirement benefits for millions of Americans across several industries. Earlier this year the House passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, H.R. 397 (116), which would create a Treasury agency to issue bond-backed loans to failing multiemployer plans.

But the Senate has been reluctant to take up the measure; Republicans previously declined to support a similar bill, the Butch Lewis Act, which they deemed a government bailout. A more narrowly tailored bill to address the plight of mine workers in Rust Belt states where Donald Trump was popular in 2016 may be more palatable for Republicans.

A bill to shore up the UMW’s pension plan alone was introduced by McKinley earlier this year. The legislation, the Miners Pension Protection Act H.R. 935 (116), awaits House floor action. The bill has 20 Republican co-sponsors, and is likely to pass. The Senate companion to the bill was introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican. More here.

RELATED:

“Murray bankruptcy shows limits of Trump promises,” from POLITICO

“In Pro-Trump West Virginia Coal Country, the Jobs Keep Leaving,” from The Wall Street Journal


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  #824  
Old 11-08-2019, 10:42 AM
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COAL MINERS
BAILOUT

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1XG35K

Quote:
Senate leader McConnell backs bill to protect coal miner pensions

Spoiler:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell joined a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday in introducing a bill to secure the pensions for nearly 90,000 retired coal miners as a recent wave of coal company bankruptcies threatens the solvency of the federal pension fund.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) departs after an event to celebrate federal judicial confirmations in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
The Bipartisan American Miners Act, co-sponsored by McConnell, of Kentucky, and West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Shelly Moore Capito, a Republican, would transfer funds from the federal abandoned mine lands program to avert insolvency of the United Mineworkers of America pension plan.

Kentucky and West Virginia are among the biggest U.S. coal-producing states.

A bankruptcy filing last week by one of the largest coal mining companies, Murray Energy, was expected to hasten the insolvency of the pension fund - estimated to occur by 2022. Eight other coal companies have filed for bankruptcy over the last two years as natural gas has taken over as the primary fuel for U.S. power plants.

“The startling number of orphaned miners in the drastically underfunded pension plan presents an urgent crisis for entire communities of miners, retirees, and their families,” McConnell said in a statement.

If passed, the bill would secure the pensions of around 92,000 retired and working coal miners and ensure health care for 12,000 retirees.

UMWA, the miners’ union, which has been pushing for Congress to pass legislation to save the pensions for years, said the new bill was a breakthrough.

“With this one bill, the United States Senate has taken a giant, bipartisan step forward in keeping America’s promise to our coal miners and their families,” said UMWA President Cecil Roberts.

The bill does not address the future of the federal program to ensure medical coverage for miners suffering black lung disease, which UMWA has been urging lawmakers to address here

Manchin had included a measure to restore a higher coal excise tax to boost the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund in an earlier version of a pension bill, but said Wednesday he would introduce a separate bill to tackle that issue. For now, he said the Senate has a path forward to address the looming crisis facing the pension fund.

“This is not a solution that can be held off any longer and we must act now,” he said.

A spokeswoman for McConnell did not comment on the timing of moving the bill through the Senate.


https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...ill-in-senate/

Quote:

UMW Pension Bailout Bill in Senate

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks yesterday regarding a bill he introduced to “protect health care and pension benefits for Kentucky miners – the Bipartisan American Miners Act.”
[video]
Spoiler:
As explained in a prior blog, it is not miners’ pensions that this bill seeks to protect (the PBGC can still do much of that) but rather the income that people running the United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan (including union employees and plan trustees) get.

To understand where that $650+ million per year required to prop up the plan would be coming from we look to a similar bill introduced last January for some history:


Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977

SMCRA created an Abandoned Mine Land (AML) fund to pay for the cleanup of mine lands abandoned before the passage of the statute in 1977. The law was amended in 1990 to allow funds to be spent on the reclamation of mines abandoned after 1977. The fund is financed by a tax of 31.5 cents per ton for surface mined coal, 15 cents per ton for coal mined underground, and 10 cents per ton for lignite. 80% of AML fees are distributed to states with an approved reclamation program to fund reclamation activities. The remaining 20% are used by OSM to respond to emergencies such as landslides, land subsidence, and fires, and to carry out high priority cleanups in states without approved programs. States with approved programs can also use AML funds to set up programs to insure homeowners against land subsidence caused by underground mining.

Further Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017

Congress reaches deal on retired miners’ health care, punts on pensions

Bipartisan American Miners Act

Going for it on fourth and long.


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  #825  
Old 11-11-2019, 10:55 AM
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BAILOUT

https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/11/...n/amp/#new_tab
Quote:
Pension Bailouts Could Raise the National Debt by $7 Trillion

Spoiler:
On Oct. 31, the national debt hit $23 trillion. That’s equivalent to a credit card bill of $178,000 for every household in America.

This marks an enormous increase. Even after adjusting for inflation, it’s a jump of $60,000 over just 10 years for the average household.

In other words, even after accounting for inflation, the U.S. added more debt per household over the past 10 years than it did over its first 200 years.

Low interest rates today make our debt seemingly manageable, but the higher America’s debt grows, the more likely it is that rates could suddenly spike, sending terrible shocks throughout the economy.

Now, an obscure pension “fix” could hasten such a shock by opening the door to massive pension bailouts that could push our $23 trillion debt closer to $30 trillion, or $230,000 per household.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, Congress is considering legislation to “fix” underfunded private union pension plans that have promised at least $638 billion more in pension benefits than they’ve set aside to pay.

The “fix” that mismanaged pension plans have lobbied Congress for is to shift those broken promises onto taxpayers. Politicians who receive hefty donations from unions, along with some lawmakers who have lots of constituents that would benefit from a taxpayer bailout, are pushing for just that—a massive bailout without reform.

Because the proposed bailouts do nothing to penalize plans for their past recklessness and nothing to impose proper funding requirements going forward, those plans’ unfunded obligations would only rise further.

But this time, it would be on the taxpayers’ dime.

Worse, if Congress bails out private union pension plans, how will it say no to teachers, police, and firefighters who come to the federal government asking for a bailout of their state and local pensions that have an estimated $4 trillion to $6 trillion in unfunded pension promises?

Tacking as much as $6.7 trillion onto our national debt to cover broken pension promises would raise the average household’s debt burden by $52,000, to $230,000.

And that would come before Congress tackles Social Security’s $13.9 trillion shortfall that would require an additional $108,000 per household to fix.

All told, the current deficit plus Social Security’s and private and public pension plans’ shortfalls would amount to about $338,000 in debt for the average household.

That’s more than five times the median household’s income.

America’s debt already threatens our freedom and prosperity. Unfairly forcing taxpayers to take on the broken pension promises of private and public sector unions would raise that threat level.



Congress should help alleviate and prevent pension shortfalls—but not through taxpayer bailouts.

First, policymakers must tackle Social Security’s unfunded promises by updating the program and better focusing benefits on those who need them most.

Doing so would prevent massive tax increases—an additional $1,000 to $2,000 per year for middle-class households—on workers.

Congress should then address pension underfunding by maintaining the solvency of its pension insurance program and by enforcing proper funding rules to hold employers and unions liable for the benefits they promise.


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  #826  
Old 11-11-2019, 10:56 AM
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MINEWORKERS

https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...on-postmortem/

Quote:
UMW Pension Postmortem

Spoiler:
“Never attribute to malevolence what is merely due to incompetence”
― Arthur C. Clarke, 3001: The Final Odyssey

Whereas Edward Siedle sees conspiracy as the prime cause of the demise of the United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan:

While PBGC publicly states its mission is to ensure that corporations sponsoring defined benefit pensions are prepared to honor their obligations to workers, its private agenda is to assist corporations in abandoning their pension obligations. The U.S. government’s belief is that if American corporations are to compete globally in the future, they must be freed from promises they made to their employees over the past 60 years or so. Unfortunately, several generations of America workers must be stripped of their retirement security if this effort to boost corporate profitability is to be successful.

I see regulatory capture.


In an environment where an aging workforce, reduced trust earnings, and the rise of the 401(k) induced many sponsors of Single-Employer Defined Benefit plans to freeze accruals and eventually (with a push from PBGC) terminate those plans or turn them over to the PBGC, on the Multiemployer side it has been of primary concern to the people who run those plans (and get paid out of them) to keep them alive, even if in a zombie state.

The PBGC, as with practically all government agencies, is most concerned about survival – their own. Having Defined Benefit plans go away would not be in their best interest so they follow the advice of those who also want to see Mulitemployer Plans survive (even if it takes transfusions of taxpayer money) for their own personal interest, as Mr. Siedle alludes:

When a pension collapses and the retirement benefits promised to thousands of workers are slashed or eliminated, a postmortem examination to discover the cause of death should be demanded. Lives have been traumatized—retirement dreams shattered. When a pension dies, experts who opined over its lifetime it never would, have some explaining to do.

Every pension death I’ve witnessed involved multiple experts responsible for monitoring the deceased’s “vital signs” i.e., soundness of the plan, including the calculation of future liabilities and assumed rates of return, allocation of assets, and fees paid to investment managers.

The judgments of these so-called experts are rightfully called into question by the unexpected death. To the extent they may have contributed to the demise of the plan, they should be held accountable.

These so-called experts do have their reasons but they have less to do with a coordinated conspiracy to rid the country of Defined Benefit plans as to maintain their own status as experts and the income therefrom.


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  #827  
Old 11-12-2019, 06:01 PM
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BAILOUT

https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...igger-bailout/

Quote:
Bigger Bailout

Spoiler:
Rachel Greszler noted 6 Things Every American Should Know About Congress’ Bailout for Select Coal Miners’ Pensions:

This Is a Taxpayer Bailout.
This Does Not Fix the Multiemployer Pension Crisis.
The U.S. Government Did Not Make a Promise to Coal Miners
This Could Lead to More Bailouts.
One Bailout Is Never Enough.
This Bailout Does Nothing to Fix the Problem.
All true and all points you would expect to be made by a conservative think tank but when it comes to advocating a better solution Ms. Greszler proposes:


Congress can help coal miners as well as 10 million other workers who are at risk of losing most of their promised pension benefits by: preserving the solvency of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., fixing the rules so that broken promises do not happen again, and providing tools for plans to minimize pension losses across beneficiaries.

In her Congressional testimony she does make a condition of the bailout:

Mandate that the PBGC take over plans when they fail, as it does for single-employer plans. When a multiemployer plan becomes insolvent, the PBGC makes loans to it (with no expectation of repayment) and the plan’s trustees keep their jobs, simply transferring funds from the PBGC to beneficiaries. The PBGC should instead terminate the plans and directly pay beneficiaries.

This would at least keep some vultures at bay but here are 6 things to know about Congress’ bailout of the PBGC:

This Is a Taxpayer Bailout.
This Does Not Fix the Public Employee Pension Crisis.
The U.S. Government Did Not Make a Promise to Union Employees.
This Could Lead to More Bailouts.
One Bailout Is Never Enough.
This Bailout Would Exacerbate the Problem of Over-Promising As Unions Get a Safety Net With a Bottomless Pit.

https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/11/...ners-pensions/
Quote:
6 Things Every American Should Know About Congress’ Bailout for Select Coal Miners’ Pensions

Spoiler:
Americans lose when Congress is in the business of picking winners and losers.

Just this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signed onto a bill, the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019, that would bail out one multiemployer, or union pension plan.

This Senate bill is similar to the combination of two bills in the House—H.R. 934 and H.R. 935, the Health Benefits for Miners Act of 2019 and the Miners Pension Protection Act—that the Energy and Natural Resources Committee recently passed.

There is a lot of misleading and false reporting about what these bills would do.

The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>

Here are six things you need to know:

This Is a Taxpayer Bailout. Not one penny will come from the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund. The United Mine Workers of America already uses up the entirety of the available Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund for its unfunded health benefits. In 2019, the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund will provide an estimated $68 million for these benefits while taxpayers will pay the remaining $270 million for the United Mine Workers of America’s broken health care promises. Thus, every additional dollar of pension and health benefits provided to the United Mine Workers of America through this measure (up to $750 million annually) would come from taxpayers.
This Does Not Fix the Multiemployer Pension Crisis. The United Mine Workers of America pension plan represents less than 1% of multiemployer plans and participants and its $6.5 billion pension shortfall is roughly 1% of the entire system’s $638 billion deficit. Virtually every multiemployer plan is drastically underfunded and at risk of insolvency, but this bill would only protect benefits for one select and politically powerful group.
The U.S. Government Did Not Make a Promise to Coal Miners. The United Mine Workers of America and private coal companies made promises to coal miners, not the federal government. Proponents of a bailout point to the 1946 Krug-Lewis Agreement, which was established after the government stepped in to intervene in a coal strike and helped negotiate a deal between the coal companies and the United Mine Workers of America. The Krug-Lewis agreement only covered the temporary period of government control over the mines and ended once control was given back to the private owners in 1947. While the government had a role in facilitating the establishment of the health and pension funds, it did so “in broad outline” only, and specified that “the trustees shall have full authority with respect to questions of coverage and eligibility, priorities among classes of benefits, amounts of benefits, methods of providing or arranging for provisions of benefits and all related matters.”
This Could Lead to More Bailouts. Unless Congress wants to pick winners and losers—bailing out coal miners and probably truckers, but not steelworkers, police, or firefighters—this bailout signals what Congress will do for the other nearly 1,400 multiemployer pension plans with $638 billion in underfunding. It also signals what it will do for state and local pension plans that have an estimated $4 trillion to $6 trillion in unfunded pension promises. A comprehensive union pension bailout could cost each household in America up to $52,000.
One Bailout Is Never Enough. When the United Mine Workers of America first received financial assistance for its health benefits in 1992, it was temporary and limited to interest on the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund. But that was not enough, so in 2008, Congress made the assistance open-ended and provided taxpayer funds. Then again, in 2017, Congress doubled the size of the bailout to cover about 45,000 retirees. The current proposals would add at least another 13,000 retirees and add to taxpayer costs, which have already totaled nearly $2 billion for the United Mine Workers of America’s unfunded health care benefits. There is a good chance that the $750 million provided in these bills will not be enough and that this bailout would have to be expanded in the future.
This Bailout Does Nothing to Fix the Problem. The problems that led to this crisis are pervasive as 96% of workers with multiemployer pensions are in plans that are less than 60% funded. Yet, this bailout does absolutely nothing to fix the issue and make sure that this never happens again. If policymakers care about workers and think that employers and unions should be held accountable for the compensation they promise to workers, they would address this challenge holistically and in ways that prevent future underfunding. Instead, these pension bailouts encourage even more reckless actions, and make taxpayers liable for them.
Congress can help coal miners as well as 10 million other workers who are at risk of losing most of their promised pension benefits by: preserving the solvency of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., fixing the rules so that broken promises do not happen again, and providing tools for plans to minimize pension losses across beneficiaries.


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  #828  
Old 11-14-2019, 06:27 PM
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COAL MINERS
BAILOUT

https://www.pionline.com/legislation...15#cci_r=73393
Quote:
Senators introduce miners’ pension rescue bill

Spoiler:
Bipartisan legislation that would shore up a nearly insolvent miners' pension plan was introduced Wednesday by West Virginia Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, and Joe Manchin, a Democrat, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The $3.14 billion United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan, Washington, has at least $3 billion in unfunded liability, and is projected to be insolvent by 2022.

The proposed Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 would transfer funds from the Interior Department's Abandoned Mine Land fund to help cover the benefit obligations of the 1974 Pension Plan, and some health-care benefits. It is co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, who in the past has been critical of Mr. Connell's inaction on multiemployer pension reform, said in a statement that he is "especially thankful for Leader McConnell's support of this legislation."

"With this one bill, the United States Senate has taken a giant, bipartisan step forward in keeping America's promise to our coal miners and their families," Mr. Roberts said. He also noted that on a conference call with UWMA officials, Mr. Manchin said that the support of the Senate majority leader "helps us get a guaranteed vote, I would think. He knew it was time to do it. I think he understands the longer we wait, the more it costs and makes it harder to do."

The legislation does not address any other multiemployer pension fund. Separate multiemployer reform legislation was passed by the House earlier this year, but the Senate has yet to produce its own proposal.

Mr. McConnell said in the joint statement announcing the bill that he personally raised with President Trump the importance of protecting the coal miners' pensions and health retirement benefits and is committed to continuing to work with the president and his Senate colleagues towards a solution. "The startling number of orphaned miners in the drastically underfunded pension plan presents an urgent crisis for entire communities of miners, retirees and their families," Mr. McConnell said.

The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program uses fees paid by present-day coal mining companies to reclaim coal mines abandoned before 1977. Western state senators including Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., have opposed using the funds to help the union pension fund.


https://www.ai-cio.com/news/us-senat...paign=CIOAlert
Quote:
US Senators Introduce Miner Pension Rescue Bill
Bipartisan legislation aims to protect pensions for 92,000 coal miners.


Spoiler:
Three US Senators have introduced legislation to secure pensions for retired miners by amending the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 and the Coal Act to include 2018 and 2019 bankruptcies in the miners’ healthcare fix that passed in 2017.

The bill is intended to secure the pensions of 92,000 coal miners and to protect healthcare benefits for 13,000 miners.

The Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 transfers certain funds to provide pension and health benefits for retired coal miners who have been affected by coal company bankruptcies. It was introduced by three US senators: Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republicans Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. McConnell is the powerful Senate majority leader.

“Year after year, our coal miners risked their lives to bring America the energy needed to become the world leader we are today,” Senator Manchin said in a release. “Our coal miners made a commitment to our country, and now it is our turn to uphold the commitment we made to them in 1946 by securing their hard-earned pensions and healthcare.”

The Department of the Treasury would transfer additional funds to the 1974 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Pension Plan to pay pension benefits, the bill would provide. This would occur if the annual limit on transfers under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 exceeds the amount required to be transferred for existing obligations of the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The bill would also increase the annual limit on transfers to $750 million from $490 million.

The bill also adds miners affected by 2018 coal company bankruptcies to the group whose retiree health benefits are used in determining the amount that the Treasury must transfer under current law to the Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan.

It allows in-service distributions under a pension plan or governmental section 457(b) plan at age 59 , down from age 62, and extends and increases the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund excise tax.

“This is a permanent remedy for the pension and health care dilemma miners across Appalachia have unfairly had to face,” Senator Capito said. “Our miners worked for these pensions.”


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Old 11-15-2019, 06:40 AM
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https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...metal-workers/

Quote:
Breaking News: Benefit Cuts for Sheet Metal Workers
Spoiler:
After withdrawing their initial application last year, the Sheet Metal Workers Pension Fund of Massillon, OH refiled in March and today the MPRA website posted their approval letter.

From their latest 5500:


Plan Name: Sheet Metal Workers Pension Fund
EIN/PN: 34-6666753/001
Total participants @ 4/30/18: 1,564 including:
Retirees: 515
Separated but entitled to benefits: 370
Still working: 679

Asset Value (Market) @ 5/1/17: $41,435,167
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.05%) @ 5/1/17: $157,774,941 including:
Retirees: $70,787,231
Separated but entitled to benefits: $30,146,495
Still working: $56,841,215

Funded ratio: 26.26%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 5/1/17: $116,339,774

Asset Value (Market) as of 4/30/18: $42,133,231
Contributions (MB): $3,973,912
Contributions (H): $4,005,017
Payouts: $5,504,701
Expenses: $815,514


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  #830  
Old 11-20-2019, 04:06 PM
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BAILOUT

Press release:
https://www.finance.senate.gov/chair...pension-system
Quote:
Grassley, Alexander Release Plan to Shore Up Failing Multiemployer Pension System
Spoiler:
WASHINGTON – Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairmen of the Senate Finance and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees respectively, today released a proposal to avert the collapse of critically underfunded multiemployer pension plans and reform rules for these plans to prevent future funding shortfalls within these important pillars of the American retirement system.



The Multiemployer Pension Recapitalization and Reform Plan creates new authority, based on past assistance for financial institutions, for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to take on liabilities from financially troubled multiemployer pension plans to help the plans pay their financial obligations to retirees and current workers. The draft legislation also makes fundamental changes to the regulation of these plans, so that all participants can be assured that their retiree benefits are appropriately funded and properly managed.



“This crisis is severe and gets worse every day. Around 125 multiemployer plans have said they’ll become insolvent over the next two decades. Several large plans—including the big Central States Pension Fund—predict they’ll go insolvent in the next few years. This leaves more than 1.3 million participants without the pension benefits they’ve been promised, including 10,000 Iowans,” Grassley said. “We need to act quickly, but we can’t just pour money into failing and mismanaged funds. Our plan will provide relief and reform now, without it our retirees will be left without the future they worked for.”



“The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation which acts as the insurance company for private sector multiemployer pensions plans will be unable to meet its future obligations without necessary reforms because employers and unions have made pension promises to millions of American workers that they can’t keep. Chairman Grassley and I have a balanced proposal to shore up the PBGC’s role as an insurance company with a limited infusion of taxpayer dollars instead of an open-ended bailout, and institute important structural reforms so this does not happen again,” Alexander said.



The proposal builds on investigations and research undertaken by Chairman Grassley in recent years, incorporating work of the 2018 Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of the Multiemployer Pension System. As a result of these investigations, Congress now has a stronger understanding of the legal framework and operations of the multiemployer system, including the flaws in the system that have led to the current crisis facing a significant portion of these plans.



The scale and scope of the underfunding in many of these plans is very large. Given that the plans represent private-sector financial contracts, the costs of reforms should be born principally by the stakeholders within the multiemployer system.



The Multiemployer Pension Recapitalization and Reform Plan includes five major components:



1. Stabilize plans in immediate danger of failure

a. Partition authority and funding relief



2. Secure workers’ and retiree’s benefits

a. Secure the multiemployer system overall

b. Increase PBGC guaranteed benefit levels



3. Strengthen the PBGC’s ability to backstop the multiemployer system

a. Increase PBGC funding through shared responsibility



4. Put the multiemployer system on a stable path for the long-term

a. Reform the funding and liability measurement rules

b. Reform zone-status rule for greater predictive value

c. Reform withdrawal liability rules to encourage employers to stay and new ones to join

d. Improve plan-governance rules and PBGC supervisory authority



5. Ensure fiscal responsibility

a. Funding reforms and stakeholder contributions

b. Front-end federal contribution offset through additional revenue



Text of the White Paper can be found HERE and text of the Technical Explanation can be found HERE.



Comments on the reform proposals may be submitted to: MultiemployerReform2019@finance.senate.gov.


White paper [only 13 pages]: https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/m...te%20Paper.pdf

Technical paper [79 pages]: https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/m...xplanation.pdf
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