Within the Omnibus Spending Bill passed by Congress, and signed into law December 16, 2014, was a provision that would permit "deeply troubled" multiemployer plans to reduce the accrued benefits of active and retired participants to avoid insolvency and preserve benefits above the PBGC guarantee level.
There are 1,400 multiemployer plans in the country and it is estimated that -- at most -- 10% of those plans might at some time in the future become eligible to take advantage of this relief.
CPF is not one of those plans. Furthermore, as one of the largest, strongest, and most secure plans in the country, it is inconceivable that CPF would ever qualify for the relief in this Bill.
This legislation was primarily aimed at permitting the pension plan of the Central States Conference of Teamsters to save itself from insolvency --- at which time the benefits of all of its pensioners would be cut to the PBGC guarantee level, which is a maximum of $13,000 a year.
The law would permit that Plan to avoid insolvency by reducing benefits by much less than would result from insolvency. Furthermore, a vote of all participants is required before any reduction can be made.