More than half of multiemployer pension plan participants are covered by plans that are only 70% to 89% funded, and more than one-fourth participate in plans that are less than 70% funded, according to the testimony of Douglas Holtz-Eakin, director of the Congressional Budget Office, before the House Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee today.
Also, only 11% of Taft-Hartley plan participants are covered by plans that were fully funded in 2002, the latest data available, Mr. Holtz-Eakin told the hearing, held by Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. Another 12% participate in plans that are 90% funded.
While multiemployer plans have generally worked better than single-employer pension plans in the past 25 years, some suggestions have been made to improve the level and quality of information about the funded level of plans that is available to participants, Mr. Holtz-Eakin added. Also, questions have been raised by experts about "whether funding rules need to be altered to better promote the long-term financial security of multiemployer plans and thereby lessen the chances that they will not be able to pay the promised benefits," he testified.
A provision addressing multiemployer plans is part of the Boehner bill that will be marked up by the House Education and the Workforce Committee on Wednesday.