First Mutltiemployer Plan to Make Benefit Cuts Under MPRA

Members of the Cleveland Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund voted by a 2 to 1 margin to approve the cuts.

Cleveland Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund announced that its retirees will be the first in the country to face pension benefit cuts as a result of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA), which allows ongoing plans that are severely underfunded to take action to cut retiree pension benefits.

The cuts will go into effect on February 1, 2017, and are the result of a participant vote taken after the U.S. Treasury Department’s December approval of the plan’s application to cut pensions. The Pension Rights Center tells PLANSPONSOR only one-sixth of the fund’s participants were targeted for significant cuts.

According to data from the Pension Rights Center, four applications so far have been denied, including that of the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan. Four others are in review, and one has had its comment period closed.