October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

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U.S. House of Representatives Passes $49 Billion Bill to Revive Underfunded Pension Plans

In an effort to save pension plans from insolvency, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019 (H.R. 397).

The Act would allow the federal government to make grants and loans to multiemployer pension plans that are insolvent or facing insolvency. To accomplish its purpose, the Act proposes to establish the Pension Rehabilitation Administration, an agency within the Department of Treasury that would be authorized to issue bonds to finance loans to the insolvent pension plans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if H.R. 397 becomes law, the Act would cost $48.5 billion in the next 10 years. A similar version has been introduced in the Senate, but that bill has not progressed beyond introduction.

Approximately 10 million people participate in multiemployer pension funds. Between 10% and 15% of multiemployer pension fund participants are in funds that are projected to become insolvent within the next 20 years, according to the Congressional Research Service. Supporters of the Act consider it necessary to prevent a loss of benefits to retirees. Opponents believe the Act is a waste of money because, although it may temporarily infuse money into struggling pension funds, it does not include provisions requiring the structural changes necessary to solve the problems that led to insolvency in the first place.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2019

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About this Author

Mark Gerano, Jackson Lewis, labor and employment lawyer
Associate

Mark B. Gerano is an Associate in the Cincinnati, Ohio, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

Mr. Gerano advises and represents public and private sector employers in a broad range of employment law matters, including those involving discrimination and harassment, wage and hour, wrongful termination and retaliation claims, and traditional labor law. He also advises and trains managers and supervisors on preventive litigation practices,...

513-719-5701
Howard Bloom, Jackson Lewis, labor union attorney, unfair practice investigations lawyer, employment legal counsel, bargaining law
Principal

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues. He trains and advises executives, managers and supervisors on union awareness and positive employee relations, and assists employers in connection with union card-signing efforts, traditional union representation and corporate campaigns, and union decertification campaigns. He also represents clients at the National Labor Relations Board in connection with bargaining unit issues, objections and challenges, as well as unfair labor practice investigations and trials. Mr. Bloom also has been the spokesperson at countless first and successor contract collective bargaining negotiations, and regularly advises on collective bargaining agreement administration issues, including grievance/arbitration issues.

Mr. Bloom has appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, several U.S. District Courts, the National Labor Relations Board, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

617-367-0025