PBGC Offers Guidance Page on Multiemployer Pension Plans

July 21, 2014 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A recent posting on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) Retirement Matters blog discusses multiemployer pension plans and points plan sponsors to basic information about such plans.

The blog post directs defined benefit plan sponsors to the PBGC’s “Introduction to Multiemployer Plans” web page. This page defines a multiemployer pension plan as “a collectively bargained plan maintained by more than one employer, usually within the same or related industries, and a labor union.” The PBGC notes that these plans can also be referred to as Taft-Hartley plans.

The introduction page covers topics such as background on the PBGC’s Multiemployer Program, rules governing multiemployer pension plan coverage, plan benefit structures and employer contributions.

The blog post on multiemployer pension plans notes how the PBGC “doesn’t take responsibility for multiemployer [pension] plans but instead sends financial assistance to plans that have run out of money to pay promised benefits.” The PBGC notes that during fiscal year 2013, it paid $89 million in financial assistance to 44 multiemployer pension plans covering the benefits of nearly 50,000 retirees, with an additional 21,000 people in these plans set to receive benefits when they retire.

The PBGC has been paying close attention to multiemployer pension plans as of late, issuing new educational resources as well as new regulations impacting multiemployer pension plans (see “PBGC Foresees Increased Risks to Multiemployer Plans” and “PBGC Finalizes Multiemployer Plan Reporting Regs”).