Multiemployer Pension Funding Reform—Bringing Balance to the Pension Funds
October 7, 2019 | 9 to 11 a.m.
Top of the Hill Banquet and Conference Center
First Street and Constitution Avenue NE, Washington, D.C.
Full breakfast will be served prior to the event at 8:30 a.m.
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The multiemployer pension system is in crisis, with more than 1 million participants facing the prospect of dramatic benefit losses. In addition to crafting relief measures that will address failing plans, policymakers are also exploring fundamental reforms to the system. Such reforms would be intended to strengthen and stabilize the multiemployer pension system in order to prevent future crises.
Pension funding is an exercise in balance, in which the need to provide adequate retirement benefits at an affordable cost must be weighed against the need for those benefits to be predictable and secure. Incorporating investment risk into pension funding can make the system more cost-effective, but it also introduces uncertainty. The current crisis points toward an imbalance in these relationships, wherein stakeholder perceptions of benefit security were not matched by the predictability of the resources supporting those benefits.
In this small, invitation-only forum, a distinguished panel of experts will discuss the principles that should serve as a foundation for how multiemployer plans are funded. Panelists will explore the advantages and disadvantages of various potential reforms, including changes to discount rates, the use of actuarial projections, and the ability of plan sponsors to restructure benefits. The discussion will consider both idealized approaches that could be implemented if the system were restarted today, as well as approaches that could be viable given the practical limitations of transitioning from the current system to a reformed system. In addition to a moderated discussion among the speakers, there will be ample opportunity for audience members to engage in dialogue with the panel.
- J. Mark Iwry, Nonresident Senior Fellow—Economic Studies; Brookings Institution
- James Naughton, Assistant Professor of Accounting Information and Management; Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
- Josh Shapiro, Vice President, Pension; American Academy of Actuaries
- Linda K. Stone, Senior Pension Fellow; American Academy of Actuaries
The forum will take place on October 7 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Top of the Hill Banquet and Conference Center. Full breakfast will be served prior to the event at 8:30 a.m.