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The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ‘Approves Application’ For The New York State Teamsters’ Pension Plan – ‘Will Restore Benefits Through Receipt Of Special Financial Assistance’

Published Sunday, November 20, 2022
by Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation News & WNYLaborToday.com Staff
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ‘Approves Application’ For The New York State Teamsters’ Pension Plan – ‘Will Restore Benefits Through Receipt Of Special Financial Assistance’

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has approved the application submitted to the Special Financial Assistance (SFA) Program by the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Plan (NYS Teamsters Conference Plan).

The application was submitted and approved under provisions of PBGC’s SFA Interim Final Rule.  The plan, based in Syracuse, covers 33,643 participants in the Transportation Industry.

On October 1st, 2017, the NYS Teamsters Conference Plan implemented a benefit suspension under the terms of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA).

The plan reduced benefits of about 25,000 plan participants.  

On average, affected participants’ benefit were reduced by 20%.

PBGC’s approval of the SFA application enables the plan to restore benefits suspended under the terms of MPRA and to make payments to retirees to cover prior benefit suspensions.

SFA will enable the plan to pay Retirement Benefits without reduction for many years into the future.

The plan will receive $963.4 million in SFA, including interest to the expected date of payment to the plan.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will deliver Special Financial Assistance to the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension Plan that ensures the (33,643) Transportation Workers and Retirees covered by this plan will receive the retirement benefits they have earned,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, who serves as Chair of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Board of Directors, said. “This assistance will deliver the secure retirement these Workers were promised in return for many years of hard work.” 

“These people worked hard throughout their careers, saved for retirement - only to have it taken from them,” Western New York/U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins said. “This decision will be life-changing for thousands of hard-working New York families who deserve a stable retirement.”

Higgins, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, has been an advocate in committee and on the House floor, for Workers who spent years paying into pension programs - only to lose their savings through underfunded or insolvent Multiemployer Pension Plans.

The SFA Program was enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).

The program provides funding to severely underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plans and will ensure that millions of America’s Workers, Retirees and their families receive the pension benefits they earned through many years of hard work.

The SFA Program currently operates under a final rule, published in the Federal Register on July 8th (2022), which became effective on August 8th (2022).

SFA applications submitted before that date reflect the provisions of the Interim Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on July 12th, 2021.

As of November 18th (2022), PBGC has approved nearly $8.9 billion to plans that cover over 191,000 Workers, Retirees and beneficiaries.

The PBGC protects the retirement security of more than 33 million American Workers, Retirees and beneficiaries in both Single-Employer and Multiemployer Private Sector Pension Plans.

The agency’s two insurance programs are legally separate and operationally and financially independent.

PBGC is directly responsible for the benefits of more than 1.5 million participants and beneficiaries in failed pension plans.

The Single-Employer Program is financed by insurance premiums, investment income, and assets and recoveries from failed single-employer plans.

The Multiemployer Program is financed by insurance premiums.

Special Financial Assistance for financially troubled Multiemployer Plans is financed by general taxpayer monies.

For More On This Labor News Story, Go To: www.pbgc.gov/news/press/releases/pr22-42

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