Benefit Reductions in the Central States Multiemployer DB Pension Plan: Frequently Asked Questions

Source: John J. Topoleski, Gary Sidor, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report for Congress, R44355, January 28, 2016

Under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA), enacted as Division O in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235) on December 16, 2014, certain multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans that are projected to become insolvent and therefore have insufficient funds from which to pay benefits may apply to the U.S. Department of the Treasury to reduce participants’ benefits. The benefit reductions can apply to both retirees who are currently receiving benefits from a plan and current workers who have earned the right to future benefits. …. Legislation has been introduced in the 114th Congress that would affect potentially insolvent multiemployer DB pension plans. H.R. 2844 and S. 1631, the Keep Our Pension Promises Act, would, among other provisions, repeal the benefit reductions enacted in MPRA. H.R. 4029 and S. 2147, the Pension Accountability Act, would change the criteria of the participant vote and would eliminate the ability of systematically important plans to implement benefit suspensions regardless of the participant vote….