Sage Advice Special Report Nov 2009

Multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans, also known as union plans or Taft-Hartley plans, are often described as the smaller and ailing cousins of single-employer DB plans. Indeed, according to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), in 2008 there were approximately 1,500 multiemployer plans covering 10.1 million participants, compared to 27,900 single-employer plans covering 33.8 million participants. As to the health of multiemployer plans, the storm of 2008 inflicted much damage on the plans’ funded status: according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the number of multiemployer plans that were less than 80% funded has quadrupled from 20% to 79%, with 38% of plans being less than 65% funded.

  • DATE: November 1, 2009

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