Although variable annuity pension plan (VAPP) designs have been permissible for decades, they have not yet seen widespread adoption—particularly in the Taft-Hartley multiemployer plan space.Recently, however, we have seen a trend of employers and unions (or existing multiemployer plan boards of trustees) agreeing to set up VAPPs as an alternative to the traditional multiemployer defined benefit plan design (hereafter, “Traditional DB Plan”).
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided relief from certain annual notice and funding requirements to multiemployer plans reeling from COVID-19–related investment and experience losses. IRS Notice 2021-57, issued on October 8, 2021, gives plan sponsors a roadmap for electing relief.
The US Senate on March 6 passed the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 (EPPRA) as part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (H.R. 1319), the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package.
The ongoing effort to provide relief for troubled multiemployer pension plans took many twists and turns in 2020, and the year ended once again without an agreed-upon solution.
As we noted in a post last year at this time, pension plans that are not fully funded for PBGC purposes have two parts to their PBGC premium. One part is a flat rate premium of $83 per participant in 2020 ($86 for 2021, as just announced by the PBGC). The other is a variable rate premium that looks to the value of the plan’s “unfunded vested benefits,” which is the excess, if any, of the plan’s Premium Funding Target over the fair market value of plan assets.
Our employee benefits and executive compensation practice is available to help employers evaluate and troubleshoot potential issues arising from the changing work environment and economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As concerns continue regarding the possibility of an economic downturn, plan sponsors should be aware of the effects that two potential downturn events could have on their qualified plans.
As we look forward to 2020, we bring you a few key takeaways on the hot topics and trends that individuals operating in the employee benefits space are watching in health and welfare, plan sponsor considerations, executive compensation, fiduciary, and fringe benefits.
Pension plans that are not fully funded for PBGC purposes have two parts to their PBGC premium.
Under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), financially troubled multiemployer pension plans in “critical and declining” status are permitted to reduce the pension benefits payable to retirees and beneficiaries.