Can PBGC Save Multiemployer Plans?

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The brief’s key findings are:

  • Participants in multiemployer pension plans have their benefits insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
  • However, the PBGC’s guaranteed benefit levels are very low compared to single employer plans.
  • Of greater concern, the PBGC’s insurance fund for multiemployer plans is projected to be exhausted within the next 10 years.
  • One idea is to head off plan insolvencies through “partitions” that transfer some costs to the PBGC, but little support exists for hiking premiums to cover the costs.
  • The bottom line is that the PBGC, as currently structured, will not be able to stave off plan insolvencies or fully protect workers in plans that become insolvent.