Multiemployer Pension Relief Details

As mentioned in GP McManus's letter announcing our victory on pension relief, here are some more details and specifics on what the bill includes. Make no mistake: this legislation is the single most significant fix to the multiemployer system in generations. While few UA plans will receive direct assistance, the entire system was quite literally saved with this action from Congress and President Biden. We can all rest assured that our hard-earned retirement security is just that: secure.

All Locals should consult their plan professionals for specific details on how it affects them.

  • Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Score: $86 billion.
    • The CBO scored the bill at $86 billion, simply meaning the legislation provides a direct cash infusion to the multiemployer system of $86 billion.
  • Provisions to help plans weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • As part of the legislation, Congress created temporary extensions and the ability to temporarily delay designation of plans as Endangered, Critical, or Declining status.
    • In plain English: Trustees can elect to delay designation or extend the time period to protect against losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Provisions to preserve the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insurance programs.
    • As part of the direct cash infusion to the multiemployer system from the Treasury Department, the legislation provides for Special Financial Assistance to eligible plans that are in Endangered, Critical, or Declining status.
    • Few UA plans qualify for this Special Financial Assistance – however, all UA plans will benefit as it preserves the multiemployer system and the PBGC insurance program.
  • Keeping PBGC premiums at a reasonable level.
    • In addition to preserving the PBGC insurance program, the legislation ensures that PBGC premiums are not required to fund benefits for plans that will be saved from failure by financial assistance.
    • This bill means premiums remain at a reasonable level, benefiting all UA plans.

While not comprehensive, these details are an important breakdown of the first meaningful action taken on pension relief in generations. The UA fought hard to ensure this legislation passed in both the House and Senate to protect our hard-earned retirement security.