The 1980 Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act:

An Assessment of Funding Requirement Changes

HRD-85-1: Published: Feb 27, 1985. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 1985.

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GAO reported on the effect of the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 on employers, participants, and others, and it assessed the effect of the act's changes in multiemployer plan funding requirements.

GAO found that 14 of 149 plans it examined were financially distressed and could pose a risk to the government's insurance program amounting to billions of dollars. The act's provisions for improving the financial condition of such distressed plans, however, may not be adequate. GAO noted that, although the act's reorganization provisions are intended to reduce the risk that financially distressed plans pose to the entire insurance program, the provisions are not likely to identify the distressed plans or to require most of them to take action to improve their financial condition.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Section 413 of P.L. 96-364, the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980, states that, subsequent to June 30, 1985, hearings shall be held on such GAO recommendations by the authorizing committees. As of June 21, 1988, no action had been taken on this recommendation and no hearings have been scheduled.

    Matter: Congress may wish to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue Code to require that the vested benefits charge under the reorganization provisions be calculated using a 15- rather than 25-year period for amortizing the unfunded vested benefits of plan participants that have not retired.


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