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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

Contact: Press Office (202) 226-9440
***MEDIA ADVISORY*** PBGC & GAO to Testify on Multiemployer Pension Plans

On Tuesday, March 5, at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, chaired by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), will hold a hearing entitled, “Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans: Reviewing the Latest Findings by PBGC and GAO.” Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Director Joshua Gotbaum and Charles Jeszeck with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) are scheduled to testify. The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  

Multiemployer defined benefit pension plans are created by collective bargaining agreements. The plans are administered jointly by a board of trustees equally representing employers and union officials. Three reports released in January highlight the significant challenges facing the multiemployer pension system, which is responsible for providing retirement benefits to more than 10 million individuals. For example, plans reported $757 billion in benefit liabilities and unfunded obligations of $391 billion. Additionally, only 39 percent of participants in the plans are active employees, while 61 percent are retired or vested participants separated from employment. 

To help ensure a thorough review of the multiemployer pension system, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline in 2011 requested a GAO study of the effectiveness and consequences of pension reforms enacted in recent years. While its report has not been finalized, GAO is prepared to discuss the preliminary findings of its study. 

Tuesday's hearing will provide members an opportunity to discuss the most recent facts on multiemployer pension plans, as well as the effects of current policies governing the system. To learn more about Tuesday’s hearing, visit http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.  

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WITNESS LIST

Joshua Gotbaum
Director
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Washington, D.C. 

Charles Jeszeck
Director
Education, Workforce, and Income Security
Government Accountability Office
Washington, D.C. 

Harold Force
President
Force Construction Co., Inc.
Columbus, IN 

Anthony M. Perrone
International Secretary-Treasurer
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
Washington, D.C.

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