In the article “Benefits Regulations and Legislation to Watch in 2020,” Law360 discusses four policy developments benefits and executive compensation attorneys are looking at in 2020. The industry publication spoke with Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation partner Greg Ossi for insight into the multiemployer plan funding crisis.
Law360 reports that in 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would establish a new federal lending program for multiemployer pension plans. The bill was read for the first time in the Senate on Dec. 18.
“Among the issues I am watching closely is legislation on multiemployer pension reforms, particularly in the Senate,” said Ossi.
Two Republican senators published a white paper in November outlining their ideas on how to save the multiemployer pension system, which include funding plans in imminent danger of collapse and requiring workers — rather than just employers — to pay into the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. That paper also proposed changing how withdrawal liability — the amount employers must pay when withdrawing from a multiemployer plan — is calculated. Withdrawal liability is a hot topic in the benefits space, serving as the subject of a much-watched Second Circuit case that settled in 2019.“The withdrawal liability reforms could increase the amount of withdrawal liability an employer would owe to a plan, and even create withdrawal liability where none exists now,” Ossi added.