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Pension Funds

Two more multiemployer plans get OK to reduce benefits

Two more multiemployer pension funds gained approval Monday to reduce benefits in order to avoid insolvency, according to the Treasury Department's website listing applications under the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.

Both plans applied for the benefit reductions, known as suspensions, on June 25, 2018.

At the time of its application, Mid-Jersey Trucking Industry and Local No. 701 Pension Fund, North Brunswick, N.J., had 1,887 participants, but only 130 active workers. The $237.6 million pension fund said it would be insolvent by 2054 without the benefit reductions, and that 71.3% of participants would have no reduction. The plan had $341 million in liabilities and was 69.7% funded.

According to its application, Toledo (Ohio) Roofers Local No. 134 Pension Plan had assets of $22.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2017, and was 54.3% funded. With a ratio of 2.2 inactive participants for every active worker, it was projected to be insolvent by 2031.

The next step is for participants and beneficiaries of the two pension funds to vote on the proposed suspensions, which will go into effect unless a majority of them vote to reject them.

To date, the Treasury Department has denied five MPRA applications for benefit suspensions and approved 12; another five applications are under review.