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Pension Funds

Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan withdraws application to cut benefits

Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan, Anchorage, withdrew its application to reduce benefits as part of a reorganization plan under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014, according to a notice posted on the Treasury Department website.

In an Oct 21 letter to the department, plan attorney Charles Dunnagan said the pension fund "fully intends" to submit a new application by Dec. 29.

The Alaska Ironworkers fund has 1,573 participants and is projected to be insolvent in 15 years, according to the application submitted March 30, which reported assets of $56.5 million and a 59% funding level.

Two other pension funds, Local 805 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Pension & Retirement Fund, New York, and the Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Plan, Austintown, withdrew their applications in recent months.

Local 805 had $51.7 million in assets and 2,065 participants, and was projected to be insolvent within six years when it applied March 22. The Ohio Carpenters fund had $216.9 million in assets and $471.3 million in liabilities as of Jan. 1 for a funding ratio of 46%, according to its March 30 application.

Local 805 reserved the right to resubmit an application "with additional information as may be advisable or recommended by the Department of Treasury," trustees Michael Smith and Leonard Schwartz said in a Sept. 21 withdrawal letter. The Ohio Carpenters letter simply stated it was withdrawing the application.

So far, 15 multiemployer pension funds have applied for MPRA benefit reductions. Of those, three original applications have been approved and five were denied. Of seven applications withdrawn since the program began in 2015, two were resubmitted and approved, and one was resubmitted but denied.