The plan participants who spoke out against the Central States Rescue Plan won a hollow victory when the U.S. Treasury rejected the plan. The pension fund will certainly fail, and when the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) steps in, every participant’s benefit will be cut much worse than what was originally proposed.
The same holds true for Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen Local No. 7. The proposed Pension Rescue Plan is our one and only shot at saving your benefits. It must gain approval of the Treasury and win your vote, or your Pension Plan will be insolvent in 10 years.
So far, the Treasury has rejected both rescue plans it reviewed for different reasons. Two more rulings are expected in October, and we expect a ruling on our plan in February 2017. We believe the Treasury will accept our plan because it saves your Pension Plan and provides the best solution for the most people.
If our Rescue Plan isn’t approved, having the PBGC step in to save your pension isn’t a sure thing. The cost of a Central States bailout could have a catastrophic effect on the agency. Insurance premiums that fund the PBGC have already more than doubled from $13 to $27 per participant in just two years. Some project premiums rising as much as $150 to $200 per participant. Few plans, including ours, could survive paying premiums that high. And if you’re counting on Congress to step in with funding, proposals to fund the PBGC with tax dollars have gone nowhere.
We know our Rescue Plan isn’t great for everyone, and some plan participants will speak against it and encourage others to vote against it. That’s their right, and we respect that. However, when it comes time to vote, we urge you to consider your own situation and vote based on what’s best for you and your family. If you have any questions about your benefits under the proposed Rescue Plan, please feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to get you answers.