***MEDIA ADVISORY*** TOMORROW: Subcommittee to Review Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension System
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2012
On Wednesday, June 20 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 “Assessing the Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
An estimated 10.3 million Americans participate in the multiemployer pension system. Multiemployer pensions are defined benefit plans created by collective bargaining agreements and administered jointly by a board of trustees equally representing employers and union officials. A number of challenges, including an aging workforce and the weak economy, are negatively affecting the long-term strength of these retirement plans. According to one analysis by the benefits consulting firm Segal, approximately 27 percent of multiemployer plans are in “critical status” due to significant financial weaknesses.
Despite past congressional efforts to improve the solvency and accountability of these plans, multiemployer pensions have become increasingly reliant upon financial assistance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). PBGC reports its future financial assistance to these plans totals nearly $4.5 billion – a 48 percent increase from earlier estimates.
Wednesday's hearing will provide committee members an opportunity to examine the challenges facing the multiemployer pension system and discuss provisions in the law governing multiemployer pensions that are set to expire in 2014. To learn more about Wednesday’s hearing, visit /hearings.
# # #
Mr. Scott M. Henderson