Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > Pension - Social Security
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions

DW Simpson Global Actuarial & Analytcs Recruitment
Download our 2017 Actuarial Salary Survey
now with state-by-state salary information!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #431  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:19 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

There's a wiki page for the committee now:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United..._Pension_Plans

Quote:
United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans was established on February 9, 2018 during the 115th United States Congress under Section 30422 of H.R. 1892.

Text[edit]
SEC. 30422. ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE.


  (a) Establishment of Joint Select Committee.— There is established a joint select committee of Congress to be known as the "Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans".


  (b) Implementation.—
    (1) Goal.— The goal of the joint committee is to improve the solvency of multiemployer pension plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    (2) Duties.—
      (A) In general.— The joint committee shall provide recommendations and legislative language that will significantly improve the solvency of multiemployer pension plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
      (B) Report, recommendations, and legislative language.—
        (i) In general.— Not later than November 30, 2018, the joint committee shall vote on—
          (I) a report that contains a detailed statement of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the joint committee; and
          (II) proposed legislative language to carry out the recommendations described in subclause (I).
then just a bunch of boilerplate
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #432  
Old 02-13-2018, 05:29 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/new...Nv5IHLE5AcqPL/

Quote:

Thousands fight to restore pensions: ‘It’s like we’re invisible’
Budget bill creates panel to address pension crisis.
Spoiler:
WASHINGTON —
Butch Lewis was one year into retirement when he got a letter that may have marked the beginning of the end of his life.

The multi-employer plan that held his pension, Central States, had run into trouble, and was desperately short of money. It presented a plan to the U.S. Treasury that would slash benefits. Lewis’ were to be cut from $3,348.82 a month to $1,998.65.

Lewis, a retired truck driver from West Chester and the retired head of Teamsters Local 100, lost sleep and fretted constantly about the cuts he and his fellow Teamsters faced. The stress took a toll: On New Year’s Eve 2015, he died of a massive stroke. He was 64.

RELATED: Sherrod Brown pitches plan to restore pension fund

Now, after years of fighting, countless trips to Washington, and even more hours of stress, Lewis’ wife Rita and the other Teamsters have put their hope in 12 yet-to-be-named members of Congress who may hold the key to rescuing the 1.5 million workers and retirees at risk of losing the money they had put aside for their retirement.

“It’s not over,” said Mike Walden, a retired truck driver from Cuyahoga Falls who is president of the Teamsters’ National United Committee to Protect Pensions.

Central States’ pension program is a multi-employer pension — one that allows employers to pool resources and provide workers with retirement security. For Walden and many other Teamsters, such plans were really the only game in town when they got into the trucking business.

The plans, negotiated by unions, were administered by trustees selected by the union and employers. They were a key part of collective bargaining: Many of those in the Central States plan, offered the choice of higher salaries or better retirement, chose the latter.

And for years, the plans worked, running at a surplus. But a culmination of factors in the 2000s — two market crashes, trucking deregulation which led to the bankruptcy of many of the companies participating in Central States, and the retirement of the Baby Boom generation — changed the pension plan’s fate quickly. By 2014, it was in serious trouble. In 2015, they offered a plan that would slash retirees’ benefits, sending out letters like the one that sent Butch Lewis into a miasma of stress. The Treasury Department ultimately rejected that plan, but the pensioners are in limbo nonetheless, wondering if the money they’d planned on will disappear.

RELATED: Obama nixes pension cut for Teamsters

Central States is no anomaly: While some 10 million workers are now served by 1,400 multi-employer plans, some 150 to 200 plans, covering 1.5 million workers and retirees, could run out of money within the next 20 years, according to the Pension Rights Center.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the longer the government waits to act, the more desperate the situation will become. He pushed a bill named after Lewis that would have provided a low-interest, 30-year-loan to troubled pensions with no cuts to benefits. But after twice trying to attach the bill to larger spending bills, he was met with fierce resistance from conservatives who called the loan program a “bailout.”

As the Senate worked toward a budget deal last week without the pension bill, Brown tried a different angle: having a select committee created that would deal with pensions. “I said if we can’t do Butch Lewis, here’s what we need. We have to have something serious and substantive to show pensioners that Congress takes this seriously.”

The committee was created as part of the massive budget bill that was signed by President Donald Trump Friday morning. Brown now hopes to become the Democratic chair of the committee.

RELATED: Budget OK’d, Congress heads for big immigration fight

The committee will include three Republicans and three Democrats from both the House and Senate — 12 members total — and will hold at least five public meetings, including one field hearing outside of Washington, D.C. aimed at making it easier for retirees to tell their stories.

The committee will have until late November to craft a plan that would be put before the House and Senate for an up-or-down vote. Neither chamber will be permitted to amend the agreement.

Walden said he would have preferred that Congress take up the Butch Lewis Act, but he’s happy to see at least some movement.

“It’s somewhat of a ‘kicking the can down the road’ again, but at least we see some resolve,” he said. “I like that they’re doing something that says they have to do something.”

Walden said he’s hopeful Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will choose Republicans from union states — such as Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio — for the panel.

For his part, Portman is hopeful the committee will “find a workable solution.”

RELATED: Retired teachers lose cost of living increase

Rita Lewis, meanwhile, wants Congress to act. She was in Washington last month for the State of the Union – a guest of Brown, invited to shine a light on the pension issue.

In the final months of her husband’s life, she’d see him sitting in his leather chair in the middle of the night, stewing over what to do about the situation he and his fellow Teamsters were in. The stress consumed him. Their last conversation on the day he died was about the pensions.

“It was always on his mind,” she said.

Rita said Congress continually puts pensioners on the back burner.

“We did everything the government asked us to do,” she said. “and here we are at this stage of our life. And it’s like we’re invisible.”
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #433  
Old 02-14-2018, 02:26 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

http://www.pionline.com/article/2018...14#cci_r=73393

Quote:
Budget proposal seeks hike in multiemployer PBGC premiums

Spoiler:
Multiemployer pension funds would see their PBGC premiums increase over the next decade under a White House budget proposal released Monday.

Aimed at improving the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s multiemployer program's finances, the proposal would raise $16 billion over the 10-year budget window, with the agency's current $32 billion deficit wiped out by fiscal year 2020.

The PBGC premium hike was included in the budget request for the Department of Labor; the DOL's overall request represents a 21% cut from the fiscal 2017 level.

RELATED COVERAGE
Special pension committee formed in Congress to come up with multiemployer bill2 multiemployer plans reapply for benefit cutsLoan programs seen as viable answer to multiemployer woesPBGC single-employer, multiemployer deficits moving in opposite directions
The budget repeats last year's White House proposal to get further federal savings from reforming federal employee retirement benefits, including changing the retirement benefit calculation to five years from the current three years of highest salary; reducing or eliminating cost-of-living adjustments, beginning in fiscal year 2019; and having employees contribute more, starting with 1% of pay in fiscal year 2020. Currently workers hired before 2012 contribute 0.8% of pay, and others contribute up to 4.4%.

New twists in this budget are calls for increasing federal employee pension contributions to 50% of cost, and funding a study to explore moving to a defined contribution retirement plan for future federal employees or letting current workers get out of the existing defined benefit system.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which is funded by fees and therefore budget neutral, released its own budget request Monday for fiscal year 2019 that would allow it to backfill critical positions and focus on priorities including cybersecurity and a new chief risk officer function. Retail investors would benefit from 41 restored positions in SEC enforcement and exam divisions, the SEC said in its budget request.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #434  
Old 02-20-2018, 02:16 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

BAILOUT

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/02/1...ww.google.com/
Quote:
1.5 Million Retirees Await Congressional Fix for a Pension Time Bomb

Spoiler:
WASHINGTON — The sprawling agreement to boost government spending reached by Republicans and Democrats this month quietly included a step toward defusing what could be a financial time bomb for 1.5 million retirees and hundreds of companies in the industrial Midwest and the South.

The deal creates a select congressional committee to craft what could effectively be a federal rescue of as many as 200 so-called “multiemployer” pension plans — in which employers and labor unions band together to provide retirement benefits to employees.

Many of these plans are hurtling toward insolvency in the coming decade, with benefits owed to retirees projected to swamp what the plans can afford to pay. The 16-member, bipartisan committee will have to come up with a solution and legislation by the end of November, which the full Senate would need to vote on by the end of the year.

Select congressional committees have long struggled to produce results, like one during the Barack Obama administration meant to reduce the growth of the national debt. This committee’s work will be complicated by disagreements over whether companies, retirees or taxpayers should bear the brunt of the cost for shoring up pension plans that would otherwise run out of money.

ADVERTISEMENT


“A solution that works is going to be challenging for all parties, and that’s going to make it hard to get political buy-in,” said Aliya Wong, the executive director of retirement policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has pushed Congress to solve the multiemployer pension problem. “The biggest issue is, where do you get the money from? Every source seems to be tapped out.”

Pension plans across the nation are facing shortfalls, with both corporate plans and those for public employees like teachers and firefighters owing more to retirees than the investment funds can possibly pay. But the looming collapse of the multiemployer pension system is significant given the sheer number of people affected and the potential for a devastating economic ripple effect: retirees losing the pension checks that keep them afloat and a potential wave of bankruptcies among the companies that once employed those workers.

You have 4 free articles remaining.

Subscribe to The Times
The situation has been brewing since the 2008 financial crisis, as investments plummeted, leaving many plans in the red. The slow economic recovery and recent stock market rally have not been sufficient to reinvigorate the plans, which are jointly funded by labor unions and employers whose workers participate in them.

According to Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, the nation’s 1,400 multiemployer plans are facing a $553 billion “hole” of unfunded liabilities, meaning they don’t have sufficient assets to cover what they owe workers. About a fourth of these plans are in the so-called “red zone,” where insolvency is more imminent, potentially within the next 10 to 20 years. Most of the participants in these plans work in the transportation, services and manufacturing industries. Their employers, many of which have been trying to withdraw from the plans, include companies like United Parcel Service and Kroger.

U.P.S. said in 2016 that it could be responsible for nearly $4 billion in benefits payments if the Central States Pension Fund, the largest multiemployer plan facing insolvency, slashes benefits to retirees or becomes insolvent. In the past year, U.P.S., which participates in more than two dozen pension plans, has been working with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to help develop pension legislation. It has also offered its own proposals.

“We want the system stabilized and fixed in the long term because we’re in so many plans and we have a lot of employees in the plans,” said Chris Langan, vice president of finance at U.P.S. “It’s something that is not wise to wait on.”

Now, Congress must decide whether to rescue these funds with low-cost loans, force them to cut benefit payments or let the funds go bankrupt and wipe out retirees’ entire pensions.

Ms. Wong and other advocates of congressional action say they are optimistic that the committee can achieve rare bipartisan success. Members of Congress across the aisle, they say, are coming to grips with the cost of doing nothing.

“This committee forces Congress to get serious,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, a longtime champion of unions who represents many retirees covered by the pension plans, and who fought for the committee’s creation in the spending bill. “It forces us to come together and work out differences.”

Image
A United Parcel Service driver. U.P.S. has said that it could be responsible for nearly $4 billion in benefits payments if the Central States Pension Fund slashes benefits to retirees or becomes insolvent.CreditMark Lennihan/Associated Press
The strain on the multiemployer pension system carries another risk — the potential annihilation of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the government agency that insures pension plans. The P.B.G.C. said in its latest annual report that its multiemployer program is likely to run out of money by the end of fiscal year 2025 because of the “rapid decline” in the P.B.G.C.’s financial position. In 2017, the agency paid $141 million in financial assistance to 72 multiemployer pension plans and that number is expected to rise as more plans collapse.

If the multiemployer pension plans go broke, the federal safety net created to protect retirees will not have enough money to make good on the promised benefits, leaving workers with little to no retirement benefits.

“It’s an urgent problem that needs to be fixed,” said Alicia H. Munnell, a management professor at Boston College and the director of its Center for Retirement Research. “Unfortunately there’s an ideological divide — do you bail these people out or not?”

“No one wants to see old, poor people penniless in retirement,” she said.

Mike Walden, a retired Teamster and the president of the National United Committee to Protect Pensions, has led fellow retirees to Washington for several years to pressure members of Congress to fix the problem. Retirees, already squeezed by living on a fixed income, are frustrated at the prospect of seeing their benefits reduced or eliminated if Congress does not act, he said. “I don’t think they understand, when they take money away from us, how much they’re going to hurt the economy.”

Mr. Walden called the creation of the committee a “meaningful step” to soothe nervous retirees. “It’s been way too long — just talk, talk, talk, talk,” he said.

To succeed, the committee must navigate Washington’s aversion to anything that resembles a bailout, particularly as the government is running large deficits that are projected to grow $7 trillion over the next decade — and when many Republicans see unions as political enemies.

And Congress has already tried to help these plans, with little success. In 2014, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act was enacted to help funds develop rescue plans, including by reducing benefits to retirees. In 2015, Central States submitted such a plan to the Treasury Department, but it was rejected the following year on the grounds that the proposed benefit reductions were unlikely to help the fund avoid insolvency.

ADVERTISEMENT


Mr. Brown and Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, a Democrat, have pushed an effort that would attempt to stabilize plans with 30-year loans from the Treasury Department, as long as plan managers could demonstrate the money would put them on a path to solvency — and not invest it in risky assets. Fiscal hawks, like the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, warn that the bill could leave taxpayers responsible for as much as $100 billion if the loans are not repaid. Backers of the bill say taxpayers should not end up paying a dime.

“This is beyond party affiliation, this really cuts to the root of what retirement is going to look like,” said Mr. Neal, who will be a member of the special committee and has been working to recruit more House Republicans to support his proposal.

Mr. Neal has six Republican co-sponsors on his bill and said that several others have expressed support. A handful of Republican senators have also been engaged on the issue, including Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, who said this month that she was pleased the spending bill “recognizes the urgent need to help tens of thousands of retired coal miners.”

The Trump administration has been largely quiet on the situation, but when asked about it at a congressional hearing last week, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, noted that it was a “significant” issue and promised to offer technical assistance to support any solution that lawmakers find.

As congressional negotiators homed in on a spending deal early this year, Mr. Brown pushed Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, to attach his pension language to the larger budget agreement. The bill establishes a process to ensure that if the commission produces a bill supported by a majority of its Democratic and Republican members, the Senate will vote on that bill before a new Congress convenes next year.

If concern over retirees is not enough to get lawmakers to act, those who represent pension funds hope that concern about the broader economy will. Michael D. Scott, executive director for the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, projects that if all of the pension plans that are in “critical” and “critical and declining” condition go broke, the federal government would face a half trillion dollars in lost tax revenue over the next decade because of the taxes that the active funds currently pay.

“I think ultimately the government is going to look at how much tax revenue it is going to lose without a solution,” Mr. Scott said.


https://www.mydaytondailynews.com/bu...u9OhkrPA4cfpK/

Quote:
Brown pushes union pension recovery plan in Dayton
Spoiler:
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown visited with Teamsters members and retirees Friday to push legislation he argues could save a string of ailing blue-collar pensions.
Brown, D-Ohio, visited the Harrison Twp. offices of Teamsters Local 957 to discuss the shortfalls that threaten the union pensions of 60,000 Ohioans and 1.5 million workers and retirees nationwide.

Earlier this month, a 16-member bipartisan, House and Senate joint select committee was established to confront the issue of pension plans strained by falling assets and rising obligations.

The committee will include senators and House members, to be equally divided between Republicans and Democrats. Brown hopes to co-chair the committee.

“These pensions were promised — a promise you extracted at the bargaining table, a sacrifice you made at the bargaining table,” Brown told a standing-room-only crowd at the Armstrong Lane union hall. “It’s money you could have spent on vacations or on your family.”

The Ohio Democrat and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Youngstown, in December introduced the Butch Lewis Act, named for a retired Ohio trucker and Teamster from West Chester Twp. in Butler County who died in late 2015. Butch Lewis’s wife, Rita, has taken up the cause and fought for the bill in her late husband’s absence.

RELATED: Thousands fight to restore pensions

The legislation would let the federal government issue bonds to help close the gap between pension assets and obligations.

Some have criticized what they say is the likely cost of such an effort. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has said new federal relief for pensions could cost $100 billion or more — a number with which Brown’s office disagrees. His office also says no federal taxpayer funds would be used for the plan.

Rita Lewis also spoke in Dayton Friday, as did Mike Walden, president of the National United Committee to Protect Pensions.

“We are on a fixed income,” Walden told a crowd that included mostly retirees. “We’ll never get another raise for the rest of our lives.”

RELATED: Brown pitches pension bill

Brown’s office says several Ohio pension plans, including the Ohio Southwest Carpenters Pension Fund, the Central States Teamsters Pension Fund, the United Mine Workers Pension Plan and others, are “on the brink of failure.”

The new pension committee has instructions to report a bill by the last week of November.

If at least four members from each party agree on a compromise, the bill will be guaranteed an expedited vote on both the House and Senate floors free of amendments, Brown’s office said.



http://www.kvrr.com/2018/02/19/bipar...ension-crisis/

Quote:
Bipartisan Committee Formed To Find Solution to Pension Crisis
THREATENS 2,000 NORTH DAKOTANS AND 400,00 RETIREES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Spoiler:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A solution for the country’s pension crisis didn’t make it in the final budget, but a bipartisan committee has been set up as a compromise.

The pension crisis is threatening 2,000 North Dakotans and 400,000 retirees across the country who paid into Central States Pension Fund and others.

The committee will be required to hold at least five public meetings and report a bill by the last week of November.

If action isn’t taken, many retirees and their families will see severe cuts to their hard-earned retirement savings.

“We were able to get a committee that will in fact sit down and in a bipartisan way take a look at these pension challenges and come up with recommendations by the end of the year,” said Democratic U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

“You know, a committee is no replacement for a permanent fix but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

If the Central States Pension Plan and other pension plans are allowed to fail, taxpayers could be at risk of having to pay billions to cover the losses.


http://www.mooncap.com/corporate-pen...ilouts-coming/

Quote:
CORPORATE PENSION BAILOUTS COMING?

Spoiler:
An old saying suggests that as General Motors goes, so goes the nation. If true, and I fear it is, retirement planning is being driven into an actuarial ditch.

Pension accounting is complex, but hang in with me with for 2 paragraphs. General Motors’ U.S. pension has $62.4 billion in assets, with an estimated $68.5 billion in obligations, resulting in a $6.1 billion funding shortfall. This estimated shortfall would be even greater, except GM increased its estimates of future investment returns and reduced its assumptions for the general level of interest rates. This, when logic suggests doing the exact opposite. Investment returns over the next ten years are almost certain to be lower – not higher – than the previous 10 years. And the GM pension assumptions may be the only place in the U.S. where interest rates declined last year.

Further confirming GM’s pension denial is that its assumed future investment returns have no connection to its asset allocation. The company assumes the plan will earn 6.6% annually, yet 61% of its assets are invested in bonds, an asset class that few analysts expect to earn anywhere near 6%.

Even with ridiculous assumptions and a $6 billion funding gap, GM intends to make no cash contributions into the plan over the next 5 years, virtually guaranteeing a deterioration of the plan’s financial state.

If history is any guide, GM’s can make any assumptions it chooses with fiscal impunity, as the federal government will bail out the plan should it reach a crisis state. The legislative groundwork is in the works.

The recently introduced Butch Lewis Act would allow the Treasury to borrow up to $500 billion to inject into at-risk multiemployer pension plans. In a massive game of arbitrage, the Treasury would issue bonds at a low rate and supply this cash to pension plans who would then invest in corporate bonds that exceed the rate on the borrowed funds.

How big is the problem? Roughly one-third of individuals in multiemployer pensions are participants in plans now classified as critical in terms of their near term funding deficiency. These plans have a collective unfunded liability of more than $260 billion. In critical status, certain plans can cut benefits for current workers that are usually protected from cutbacks. If passed, the legislation would delay any need for cutbacks, but benefit payouts would lead to difficulties in paying back the loans.

Companies have lobbyists and unions to plead their pension cases to the federal government. It is the taxpayers – that is, current and future retirees – who are on the hook for any bailouts. With a third of households having zero retirement savings, taxpayers are more likely to want a bailout, not fund one.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #435  
Old 03-02-2018, 10:23 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

http://www.cantonrep.com/news/201802...sion-committee

Quote:
Portman added to pension committee

Spoiler:
WASHINGTON Sen. Rob Portman will join the joint committee tasked with solving a pension crisis, which has endangered the pensions of 60,000 Ohio workers and retirees.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made the announcement late Tuesday. The commission was created through a budget deal enacted in the Senate in February.

“This committee has an opportunity to resolve this multi-employer pension crisis once and for all,” Portman said. “I am hopeful that we can achieve a comprehensive and permanent solution that protects earned pensions, protects taxpayer dollars, prevents the insolvency of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and alleviates pressure on employers.”

The 16-member House-Senate commission, created at the insistence of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, will hold at least five public meetings, including one outside of Washington to make it easier for the members to hear from retirees affected by the crisis. The group has until November to craft a plan that would be put before the House and Senate for an up-or-down vote. Under the agreement reached Wednesday, neither the House nor the Senate will be permitted to amend the agreement.

Brown will co-chair the commission along with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Republicans Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Michael Crapo of Idaho will also serve on the commission. Brown, meanwhile, will join fellow Senate Democrats Tina Smith of Minnesota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota on the panel.

House members on the commission include Republican Reps. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Phil Roe of Tennessee, Vern Buchanan of Florida and David Schweikert of Arizona as well as Democratic Reps. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, Bobby Scott of Virginia, Donald Norcross of New Jersey and Debbie Dingell of Michigan.

At issue are multi-employer pensions created in order to allow employers to pool resources and provide their workers retirement security. The plans, negotiated by a union, are run by trustees selected by the union and employers. For years, most multi-employer plans ran at a surplus.

But market crashes between 2000 and 2009, corporate bankruptcies and new laws have rendered many plans virtually unsalvageable. While some 10 million workers are served by 1,400 multi-employer plans nationwide, some 150 to 200 plans, covering 1.5 million workers and retirees, could run out of money within the next 20 years, according to the Pension Rights Center. Among them: Central States, a pension program that claims some 50,000 members in Ohio.

Jessica Wehrman covers Washington D.C. for The Columbus Dispatch.


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #436  
Old 03-02-2018, 10:24 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele...300605949.html

Quote:
Teamsters Call On Joint Select Committee To Move Quickly To Solve Pension Crisis
Millions of Active and Retired Workers Face Uncertain Future Without Legislative Fix


Spoiler:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following today's announcement of the final members of Congress that will serve on the bipartisan, House-Senate Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans tasked with finding a solution to the nation's looming pension crisis, the Teamsters Union called for a commitment by the legislators to report a bill as soon as possible, and not wait until the November deadline.

The retirement security of as many as 1.5 million active and retired workers could be at risk if pension legislation is not passed soon. The committee, which is comprised of eight senators and eight members of the House evenly divided by party, will work toward reporting a bill to solve the pension crisis. The Teamsters Union supports the passage of the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 (H.R.4444/S.2147) which was introduced in Congress last November by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) and has received bipartisan support.

"Now that party leadership has appointed the members of Congress who will serve on the committee it is time to get to work," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "Millions of active and retired workers can't wait until November for this committee to act. We already have a strong piece of legislation already in Congress in the Butch Lewis Act and the Teamsters Union believes it offers the best solution to the pension crisis."

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

Contact:
Galen Munroe (202) 439-7427
gmunroe@teamster.org

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #437  
Old 03-06-2018, 12:19 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...l-805-refiles/

Quote:
Breaking News: Local 805 Refiles
Spoiler:
Local 805 Pension Fund of New York, NY withdrew their application for benefit suspensions last September reserving the right to refile. Today on the MPRA website their reapplication popped up.


From their latest 5500 filing:

Plan Name: Local 805 Pension and Retirement Fund
EIN/PN: 13-1917612/001
Total participants @ 3/31/17: 2,029 including:
Retirees: 996
Separated but entitled to benefits: 574
Still working: 459

Asset Value (Market) @ 4/1/16: $51,672,207
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.23%) @ 4/1/16: $227,557,297 including:
Retirees: $142,792,445
Separated but entitled to benefits: $40,425,695
Still working: $44,339,157

Funded ratio: 22.71%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 4/1/16: $175,885,090

Asset Value (Market) as of 3/31/17: $47,185,714
Contributions: $1,807,322
Payouts: $11,901,461
Expenses: $836,186


__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #438  
Old 03-06-2018, 12:21 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

BAILOUT

http://www.ideastream.org/news/sherr...on-plan-rescue
Quote:
Sherrod Brown Willing to Compromise on Pension Plan Rescue
Spoiler:
Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown told a reporter after a meeting with union members in Canton that he's open to compromise on ways to save hundreds of union retirees' pension funds.

Brown is the co-chair of a new, temporary joint House and Senate committee to come up with options by the end of the year. The new Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, will propose a way to restore the precarious finances of what are called multiemployer pensions for groups including the Teamsters, mineworkers, and carpenters.

Brown has been pushing a fix called the Butch Lewis Act, which would provide a low-interest, 30-year loan to the pensions. Conservatives are opposed to the loan, calling it a government bailout. Though the union hall was filled with Butch Lewis signs and shirts, Brown acknowledged uncertainty.

"I don't have preconceived notions on what we end up with," he said. "I'd love to end up with Butch Lewis, I think that's the best idea. But I also understand we've got to get five Republican and five Democratic votes."

The 16-member committee is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman is also on the committee. If it gets bipartisan support from at least ten members, the measure will go to the full House and Senate for a straight up-or-down vote.
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #439  
Old 03-09-2018, 05:45 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

https://economics21.org/html/dos-and...ttee-2909.html
Quote:
Dos and Don’ts for Pension Committee on Escalating Multiemployer Pension Crisis
Spoiler:
The recently-enacted federal government spending law established a select congressional committee to craft a federal response to the escalating crisis of multiemployer pension underfunding. The committee has its work cut out for it with a particularly thorny policy challenge. The failure of too many multiemployer plan trustees to fund their pension promises adequately threatens both the retirement income security of millions of workers and the solvency of the nation’s pension insurance system. In previous columns I explained the basics of the problem as well as the potential threat to U.S. taxpayers. In this column I will offer suggested dos and don’ts for the committee as it goes about its difficult work.

First, a quick recap: underfunding of U.S. multiemployer pension plans has reached roughly half a trillion dollars.



We have a national system for insuring these pensions operated by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), but current projections are such that it will not be able to handle the strain. Although PBGC is only obligated to backstop a portion of these pensions’ benefit promises, even those obligations are estimated to put PBGC $65 billion in the red and to precipitate insurance program insolvency by 2025.



The causes of the crisis are various and complex, but they essentially boil down to this: lax pension valuation and funding rules have long permitted multiemployer plan trustees to promise pension benefits far beyond what they can pay. At the same time, PBGC is not permitted to assess premiums on plan sponsors that are sufficient to finance the insurance coverage it provides. Many multiemployer plans also face worsening demographics, meaning that the proportion of their participants already collecting retirement benefits is significantly higher than it once was.



Legislators have a difficult tightrope to walk. No clear way exists to effectuate swiftly the one truly equitable solution – namely, that pension plan sponsors should honor and fund all benefits they have promised to workers. The funding contributions necessary to accomplish this going forward have reached such high levels that if lawmakers mandate them in the near term, employers will simply pull out of the pension business, precipitating an even more immediate crisis in the pension insurance system.

That is the bad news. The good news is that a similar crisis loomed in the single-employer (SE) pension system just over a decade ago, and was largely pre-empted by prudent and underappreciated legislation: namely, the 2006 Pension Protection Act (PPA). Many of the key players responsible for this success story, including then-president George W. Bush and then-House majority leader John Boehner, are no longer in government. However, others, such as Senator Mike Enzi – then chairman of the Senate HELP committee and now chairman of its budget committee, can still bring the benefit of this experience to the current task.

Before the PPA, it was actually PBGC’s SE pension insurance program that faced the larger shortfall – nearly $23 billion in 2005. Those PPA reforms were a rare instance of lawmakers acting prudently to stave off a crisis, and the reforms occurred just in time. The insurance fund’s condition improved somewhat after the PPA, and then the Great Recession hit. Thanks in part to the PPA, SE plans were able to weather the storm. With financial markets having since recovered, the SE pension insurance shortfall is now less than half of what it was 12 years ago.



How did lawmakers do it? It was not easy; they had to walk a fine line of requiring employer sponsors to make gradual progress toward meeting their pension funding responsibilities without precipitating a rush to the exits. Lawmakers had to resist demands from the business community for more funding relief up front on the way to tighter long-term funding targets, while still providing them enough near-term flexibility to keep most sponsors in the game. While there has been some backsliding on the PPA reforms in recent years, for the most part they have served their intended purpose. SE pensions would be in still better shape today had there not been a few subsequent instances of legislated funding relaxation.

Unfortunately, multiemployer pension funding was left mostly unrepaired by the 2006 reforms, with costly consequences. Legislation in 2014 moved in the right direction by allowing multiemployer pension benefit reductions in the context of a solvency plan, but left the system’s core structural problems uncorrected. Experience suggests the following dos and don’ts for the select committee as it takes on the multiemployer pension funding crisis.

Dos:

Do measure plan liabilities and assets as accurately as possible: This means discounting future liabilities using appropriate (e.g. high-quality corporate bond) rates, and recognizing the true market value of plan assets. One of the precipitating causes of the current crisis is that multiemployer plans have not been required to measure accurately in the manner of SE plans. While plan sponsors sometimes object that market valuation of liabilities (and assets) will cause volatility in annual contribution requirements, volatility is best limited via the funding rules, not by misreporting liabilities and asset values.

Do apply a variable-rate premium for underfunded plans: President Trump’s budget includes a proposal to do this, and it makes sense. Underfunded plans pose a greater risk to the insurance system and they should pay higher premiums to reflect that risk. This is only fair to those sponsors who have responsibly funded their plans. The SE insurance program already has such a variable-rate premium and the multiemployer program would benefit from one as well.

Do restrict benefit increases, accruals and lump sum payouts in badly underfunded plans: While assessing higher premiums and funding requirements poses the risk of employer withdrawals, legislators can nevertheless act to stanch the bleeding from severely-underfunded plans. Whenever SE plans become badly underfunded a set of statutory limitations on unfunded benefit accruals kicks in. Multiemployer plans are subject to some such limitations, but they should be strengthened.

Do close loopholes undercutting funding requirements and withdrawal penalties. Multiemployer plan sponsors are supposed to pay a penalty reflecting their share of unfunded liabilities if they withdraw from a plan, but sponsors can escape these payments in many ways. Similarly, various loopholes exist that permit funding shortfalls in badly underfunded plans to worsen. No badly-underfunded plan sponsor should be permitted to avoid contributing the minimum annual amount required to prevent worsening underfunding.

Do authorize the PBGC to take corrective actions where plan trustees do not. In the SE world, the PBGC can initiate an “involuntary termination” if it finds that inaction would cause the loss to the pension system would increase “unreasonably.” Sometimes just the threat of an involuntary termination can precipitate a negotiation for a plan to reform its benefit and funding structure.

Don’ts:

Don’t use taxpayer funds to bail out private pensions. Using taxpayer funds would be unfair on its face, as most taxpayers are not even eligible to receive benefits from such plans. It also threatens to be ruinously expensive (per the previously-mentioned half-trillion dollars of underfunding). Further, it would destroy the foundational principle of the PBGC insurance system, a core purpose of which is to keep the financing of private pensions totally separate from public funds.

Even the hint of a potential taxpayer-funded pension bailout is enormously damaging. It signals to responsible funders of their pension promises that they will be disadvantaged relative to competitors who fail to fund theirs but who will be bailed out anyway. The mere suggestion that a taxpayer-financed bailout might be in the offing will itself depress pension funding; lawmakers should categorically rule out that possibility as soon as they can.

Don’t assume responsibility from sponsors for the broader pension problem. Given the massive underfunding in the multiemployer pension world, government must not pursue the quixotic ambition of single-handedly righting private pension finances. The federal government’s more achievable task is simply to shore up the PBGC insurance program so that it remains solvent and can cover such pension plans as need financial assistance. That will be hard enough without expanding the scope to cover sponsors’ benefit promises that exceed PBGC’s current guarantees.

Don’t procrastinate by providing loans to plans moving inexorably toward insolvency. Unless and until pension funding is put on a sustainable footing, loans will only allow the problem to grow worse and increase the cost of an eventual meltdown. If the problem could be solved by loaning money to plans and having them invest their way out of their holes, that would already have been accomplished when the stock market recently hit historic highs. There is no magic bullet by which these plans can borrow money, invest the proceeds, and emerge healthily without making fundamental changes.

Don’t allow underfunded plans to increase benefit obligations: If a plan is underfunded, benefit increases should stop. If a plan is severely underfunded, benefit accruals should be frozen.

A responsible solution to the multiemployer pension problem would reform valuation of plan assets and liabilities, it would both require and enable plans to progress towards adequate funding, close problematic loopholes, stabilize the pension insurance system and protect taxpayers against loss. We all have a stake in hoping the committee is up to this challenging task.

Charles Blahous, a contributor to E21, holds the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Chair at the Mercatus Center and is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. He recently served as a public trustee for Social Security and Medicare.

Interested in real economic insights? Want to stay ahead of the competition? Each weekday morning, E21 delivers a short email that includes E21 exclusive commentaries and the latest market news and updates from Washington. Sign up for the E21 Morning Ebrief.
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
  #440  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:03 AM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 83,226
Blog Entries: 6
Default

BAILOUT

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/former-c...ion-coalition/

Quote:
Former Congressman Named Chair of POWER Pension Coalition
Lack of Congressional reform could tank 100 multiemployer plans.
Spoiler:
To help protect the benefits of multiemployer pensioners and future retirees, pension coalition Protect Our Retirees Earned Retirement (POWER!) has tapped former Florida Congressman Connie Mack to head the coalition as its national chairman.

“Millions of retirees and workers are staring at deep reductions in their pension benefits, while employers risk going out of business unless Congress and the President act swiftly,” Mack said in a statement. “We need all sides to come to the table to find a solution. The longer we fail to address the situation, the harder and more expensive it will be to solve it.”

POWER! involves employers, unions, workers, and retirees to work on resolving the crisis that face Multiemployer Pension Plans (MEPPs). A Joint Select Committee was recently formed in Congress to solve the crisis, with a November 30 deadline to issue a report.

While multiemployer pension systems cover 10 million Americans, failure of a Congressional reform could cause an estimated 100 multiemployer pension plans to fail. According to a news release, plan participants were paid out $241 billion in wages and pension payments in 2015, yet those same members also paid roughly $35 billion in federal taxes and $8.4 billion in state and local taxes.

“If Congress and the President do not act, businesses in our industry will be forced to shut their doors,” said Steve DeHaan, president of the International Warehouse Logistics Association. “Many are second- and third-generation family-owned warehouse companies where withdrawal liabilities exceed their net worth.”

The group currently has seven advocacy campaigns on its website, which will send letters to Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Indiana, Missouri, and Michigan, and Pennsylvania senators urging they get involved in restructuring policy for multiemployer pension plans.

“The time is now for the President and Congress to come together to find a solution to the MEPP crisis. We have to get beyond political rhetoric and work toward a compromise,” Nick Pyle, president of the Independent Bakers Association, said. “If this problem lingers, the solution will cost more and it will arrive too late for some of our members to sustain their businesses.”
https://www.heritage.org/budget-and-...ivate-pensions

Quote:
Senate "Loan" Bill Is a Poorly Disguised Bailout for Private Pensions
Spoiler:
aking loans to private individuals or entities has no foundation in the Constitution, but that doesn’t stop government from using lending to encourage desirable behaviors, such as investing in a college education or buying a home.

But one proposal before Congress, introduced at the urging of private-sector unions and employers, goes further, calling for taxpayers to make loans to private, union-run pension plans.

These would not be any ordinary loans, either. Instead, they would be taxpayer bailouts under the guise of government loans.

Policymakers should ask: What desirable behavior is being encouraged here? Do we want government to encourage private employers and unions to promise workers more than they can afford and then fail to set aside the money necessary to meet those promises? Because that’s exactly what this proposal would do—encourage the same reckless behavior that contributed to the $500 billion shortfall faced by roughly 1,300 multi-employer pension plans today.

Unlike loans made in the private sector, which happen only where a legitimate expectation of repayment (and a risk-compensating interest rate) can be established, loans to insolvent pension plans would have a high expectation of default.

The Butch Lewis Act—a proposal to bail out private-sector pensions through loans as well as direct cash assistance—acknowledges the high probability of default by stipulating that pension plans that have trouble repaying their loans after 30 years of interest-only payments will be eligible for forgiveness or alternative repayment plans.

A loan with a zero-consequence default option for the borrower is not a loan—it’s a bailout.

But it’s not just defaults that taxpayers need to be concerned about. There’s also the cost of providing highly subsidized, low or no-interest loans for 15 to 30 years, as well as the risk that plans will increase—rather than decrease—their unfunded liabilities over the course of their loans.

These features could lead to loans to insolvent pension plans costing taxpayers more than direct cash bailouts.

But those costs won’t be apparent in the official government score because the Congressional Budget Office is required to score loansunder the assumption that insolvent pension plans are essentially riskless borrowers.

In reality, loans to insolvent pension plans could cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. The most liberal proposals—which supplement loans with direct cash assistance—could cost more than the entirety of multi-employer pensions’ half-trillion-dollar shortfall.

That’s because bailouts would encourage even healthy pension plans to overpromise and underfund benefits, leaving taxpayers with the tab. A bailout for private, union-run pensions would signal the federal government’s willingness to also bail out state and local government pensions, which would encourage them to continue the practices that contributed to their current $6 trillion funding shortfall.

Advocates rely on two misleading arguments to convince policymakers of the need for a federal bailout.

First, they claim that helping private pension plans themselves will save taxpayers money by preventing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, an independent federal government agency, from becoming insolvent.

But this corporation is not a taxpayer-financed entity, so taxpayers are not on the hook for its shortfalls. Furthermore, covering 100 percent of private pensions’ promises through loans or bailouts cannot cost more than covering only a portion of them through the corporation.

Second, private unions and employers seeking pension bailouts argue that the economic contagion effects of pension failures would be tremendous—in other words, that union-run pensions are too big to fail.

Those estimates are not only massively overstated (implying, as much as a 50-for-1 return on pensions bailouts), but they completely ignore one side of the equation—a dollar taken from a future taxpayer is no less valuable than a dollar not received in pension benefits today.

Coping with roughly $500 billion in private union pensions’ unfunded promises will not be easy. There are ways to minimize losses to workers who have earned pension benefits and protect taxpayers from paying for private pensions’ broken promises.

Policymakers should look to improve the solvency of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s multi-employer program through premium increases and other reforms; end union pensions’ preferential treatment; enact and enforce sound funding rules; hold pension trustees liable for financial decisions; act sooner rather than later to enact needed reforms, including benefit reductions; and explicitly prohibit federal pension bailouts.

None of these actions provides a costless cure-all, but they offer more fair and rational solutions that don’t treat taxpayers as guarantors of private-sector promises or set the stage for even more mismanagement and reckless behavior.
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.35681 seconds with 10 queries