Pension & Benefits News Deadline passes on multiemployer pension plan solution
Monday, December 17, 2018

Deadline passes on multiemployer pension plan solution

Multiemployer pension plans—maintained under collective bargaining agreements—remain precariously positioned for ultimate collapse as the Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans failed to meet expectations that it would vote November 30, 2018 on a package of legislation aimed at providing a bipartisan solution to the problem. Co-Chairmen Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on November 29 said that while they have made significant progress and believe a bipartisan solution is attainable, more time is needed. The Committee will continue its work.

“The problems facing our multiemployer pension system are multifaceted and over the years have proven to be incredibly difficult to address,” the Committee leaders said in a joint statement. “Despite these challenges and a highly charged political environment, we have made meaningful progress toward a bipartisan proposal to address the shortcomings in the system to improve retirement security for workers and retirees, while also providing certainty for small businesses that participate in multiemployer plans.”

Although a bipartisan agreement could not be finalized before November 30, Hatch and Brown said they believe a bipartisan solution is attainable and that they would continue working to reach that solution.

Looming threat. Brown and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), who also serves on the Committee, separately noted that the pension crisis threatens 1.3 million Americans, 60,000 Ohioans, and thousands of small businesses around the country.

“We have made important progress towards reaching an agreement to help resolve this multiemployer pension crisis and these efforts must continue until we complete our work,” said Portman. “Without action, the multiemployer pension system will collapse, leaving many Ohio workers and retirees impoverished and forcing many employers to go bankrupt. That’s an unacceptable outcome, and I will continue to work with my bipartisan colleagues until we solve this pension crisis once and for all.”

SOURCE: Senator Sherrod Brown Press Release.

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