IRON WORKERS' LOCAL UNION NO. 17 PENSION FUND
TO APPROVE SUSPENSION PLAN
Today, the US Department of Treasury certified to the Board of Trustees for the Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund that a majority of the participants in the Pension Fund voted to save themselves by implementing benefit cuts now to avoid the projected insovency in 2024. The certification of the election results was made today which is the deadline for the seven day period allowed under the Multiemployer Pension Relief Act 2014 (MPRA). Special Master Kenneth Feinberg informed the Trustees in a conference call that the suspension plan, which will reduce the accrued benefit and eliminate early retirement subsidies and extra benefit credits, was approved by a majority of the participants eligible to vote. Out of the 1938 eligible voters, only 16% voted to reject the suspension plan. The votes cast during the election period were 2 to 1 in favor of approval. A copy of the authorization and certification of the vote will be posted to the Department of Treasury website at www.treasury.gov/mpra later today.
The Trustees appreciate that a majority of the participants understood that the suspension plan, while reducing thier pensions now, is a better alternative than letting the Pension Fund become insolvent. At the time of the projected insolvency in 2024, the Pension Fund would have beeb in line with many other insolvent plans seeking to share the scarce financial assistance available from the Pension Benefit Corporation (PBGC). Now, the Trustees are working with the Pension Fund Office to make the changes necessary to implement the benefit reductions for the February 1, 2017 pension checks. Remember, these will reduce the Pension Fund's overall liability and improve its financial solvency over the long term.