The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. on Thursday approved the supplemented special financial assistance application of a New York pension plan for workers and retirees in the transportation industry.
New York State Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Plan, or NYS Teamsters Conference Plan, will receive $438 million as a supplement to the $963 million in special financial assistance that was approved for the plan in November 2022.
President Joe Biden signed the Special Financial Assistance Program, or SFA Program, into law in March 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. The program provides funding to severely underfunded multiemployer plans if they demonstrate eligibility.
The NYS Teamsters Conference Plan, based in Syracuse, N.Y., covers 33,643 participants in the transportation industry.
The plan implemented a benefit suspension in October 2017 under the terms of the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014, according to a PBGC news release from November. This reduced the benefits of roughly 25,000 participants by an average of 20%.
The SFA Program helps the plan restore benefits and make payments to cover prior benefit suspensions for retirees, the PBGC said in the November news release. The funding will also help ensure the plan can continue to pay full retirement benefits in the future, the agency said.
"Through no fault of their own, these workers faced diminished pensions, but will now receive the secure retirement they were promised in exchange for many years of work," said Lisa M. Gomez, assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, in a news release Thursday.
As of Dec. 31, 2021, the NYS Teamsters Conference Plan had $1.7 billion in assets and $3 billion in projected benefit obligations for a funding ratio of 57%, according to the plan's most recent Form 5500 filing.
As of Thursday,the PBGC has announced approval of roughly $46.3 billion in special financial assistance to pension plans covering more than 553,000 participants, according to the Thursday news release.