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Pension Funds

New York State Teamsters Conference fund gets OK to lower benefits

The Treasury Department on Thursday approved the rescue request of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund, Syracuse, according to the Treasury's website.

The pension fund is the third multiemployer fund to receive approval for benefit reductions under the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.

The MPRA allows trustees of deeply underfunded pension plans to reduce or suspend benefits for all participants, including retirees, if the reductions provide the plan a better-than-50% chance of staying solvent for 15 years, or 20 years for funds with more retirees than active participants.

The pension fund originally submitted its application in August 2016, withdrew it in April, and reapplied in May. If participants vote in favor of the cuts, they would go into effect on Oct. 1.

As of Jan 1, 2014, the most recent Form 5500 data, the plan was 46.5% funded, with $1.46 billion in assets and $3.14 billion in liabilities.

The first two multiemployer pension funds to receive approval under the MPRA were Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund, Cleveland, and United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A, Nashville, Tenn. Of the 11 other pension funds that have applied, five requests have been denied, four are under review and two have been withdrawn.