Pressroom Unions' Pension Trust Fund, New York, applied for permission to reduce benefits to remain solvent, according to the Treasury Department's website listing applications under the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.
Economic downturns and changing technology in printing and pressrooms severely affected the pension fund, according to the application. The plan went from regular status in 2016 to critical and declining. More than two-thirds of contributing employers have gone out of business and the number of active participants is 23, compared to 1,400 retirees and 370 terminated vested participants.
The pressroom pension fund is currently 78.6% funded, with $129.3 million in assets and $164.4 million in liabilities, but it is projected to be insolvent by 2032. The application is seeking to reduce benefits by 39% across the board.
To date, the Treasury Department has denied 5 MPRA applications for benefit suspensions, and approved four: Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund, Cleveland; International Association of Machinists of Motor City Pension Fund, Troy, Mich.; New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund, Syracuse; and United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A, Nashville, Tenn.
Another four applications are under review.