Actors, Studios Announce Bump in Pension Contributions

November 8, 2010 ( – The rich and famous worry about retirement and health care too, as evidenced by recent negotiations between actors’ and producers’ unions.

The AFP reports the tentative deal, which goes into effect on July 1, between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) provides a 6% pay raise and a 10% increase in contributions to the unions’ health and pension plans. Union members said the health and pension plan provisions were key to avoiding a strike.  

“Strengthening the pension and health plans was our top priority in these negotiations — making such a significant gain in that area was a vital achievement,” said Ken Howard, president of the 125,000-member SAG, according to the news report.  

His counterpart at the 70,000-member AFTRA, Roberta Readon said she is “extremely pleased we met our goal of increasing contributions to our retirement and pension plans, and that we successfully completed this negotiation now to protect the needs of performers early in the process,” the AFP said.  

Three years ago, the inability of actors and producers to reach an agreement led actors to work without a contract for a year following a strike by the screenwriters in 2007-2008 that became the U.S. entertainment industry’s most damaging dispute in 20 years, costing an estimated two billion dollars.