I am tired of writing about the problems within our retirement industry, of which there are many. I need something positive to write about, but I’m having difficulty during this chaotic time finding such a topic. Perhaps we can get excited at the prospect that Congress is actually thinking about cobbling together a fourth stimulus proposal following the recent passage of the $2.2 trillion CARES legislation.
There are rumblings that members of the House are preparing to include the Butch Lewis Act (BLA) in the next round of support. The Critical and Declining plans (roughly 125) were already teetering on the brink of insolvency. The stock market’s recent terrible performance will only speed up the time frame to insolvency, while likely pushing many of the multiemployer plans that were deemed to be in “Critical” status into the Critical and Declining bucket. Support for these pension funds is absolutely critical, as nearly 1.4 million American retirees and active plan participants could lose a significant percentage of their earned benefit. Their contribution to our economy, through the monthly benefit payments, is huge. We can’t afford any more revenue and demand shocks to our economy at this time.
While my fingers are crossed that we might see some action to help these struggling plans, I am not holding my breath, as pension reform for multiemployer plans has been on going for years and years. Stay well and stay safe!