Four Southern District carpenters' union pension funds have filed for approval with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to merge, creating a fund with about $800 million in assets, said Jay Youngdahl, partner at The Youngdahl Law Firm, who represents the pension funds.
The lawyers for the pension funds sent notification for the merger and request for compliance of the terminations of three of the plans to the PBGC on Sept. 1, Mr. Youngdahl said.
If approved by the PBGC following a 120-day review period, the Carpenters & Millwrights of Houston & Vicinity Pension Fund (which had $198 million in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021, according to its most recent Form 5500 filing), the New Orleans Carpenters' Pension Plan (which had $109 million) and the Louisiana Carpenters Pension Fund (which had $78 million) will merge into the Carpenters Labor-Management Pension Plan (which had $438 million),
The boards of the pension funds approved the merger late in August following a comprehensive actuarial study by Cheiron, Mr. Youngdahl said.
"The purpose was to strengthen the financial health of the fund for retirees in the Central South through a seven-figure reduction in costs, increases in benefits for retirees and forestalling potential withdrawal liability," said Mr. Youngdahl.
One merger that occurred earlier this year was the merger of the Northeast Carpenters Funds and the Carpenters Funds of Philadelphia & Vicinity, effective Jan. 1, into the newly created Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Funds.