No action on multiemployer pensions without union skin in the game

Nov. 19, 2018, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the imminent release of recommendations by the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Plans to address 114 of the nation’s 1,400 multiemployer pension plans covering 1.3 million workers being underfunded by $36.4 billion:

“There should be no action by either the joint committee or Congress to put taxpayer money at risk without union financial contributions into the system, whether that be through a new risk pool or through compelled direct contributions to the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The cost-sharing is an incentive for unions to guarantee the longevity of their own pensions and to make certain there is no bailout. That is why the committee should be looking at, in addition to skin in the game cost-sharing by the unions, annual external audits for affected plans and a sound mechanism for companies to exit and decertify the union, replacing the lump sum payment with payments over a longer period of time.

“Benefits for the beneficiaries of multiemployer pension plans which require assistance should be limited to the same levels as other failing defined benefit pension plans at 55 cents on the dollar, and future employer and union negotiations should be subject to oversight by the PBGC to ensure that pension funding levels are sufficient, or the promised benefits brought into alignment with the actual ability of the plan to pay.  The unsustainable defined benefit formula is one of the reasons the multiemployer pensions are suffering in the first place, and so the committee should take the opportunity to phase it out to protect taxpayers from potential future bailouts.”


“Taxpayers will get a better deal on multiemployer pensions now than in 2019 when Nancy Pelosi is House Speaker,” By Robert Romano, Nov. 14, 2018 at

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