If given the opportunity to watch paint dry or follow closely the activity surrounding developments related to American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the Special Financial Assistance (SFA), I’d encourage you to sit down and watch some paint. Just make sure that it is a color that you like!
With regard to an update on the progress being made by poorly funded multiemployer plans, there has been ONE pension system, Mid-Jersey Trucking Industry and Teamsters Local 701 Pension and Annuity Fund, that has filed an application with the PBGC in February. The good news is that it is a MPRA Suspension & Partition eligible plan making it the fourth such type to file an application with the PBGC. As a reminder, there are 18 plans that received DOL approval to reduce the promised benefits that are part of the PBGC’s group 2 priority list.
Mid-Jersey Trucking has 1,621 participants in the plan and they have filed to receive $138.6 million in SFA. To date, five plans have had their applications approved and two have received their payments. The pace of approvals and distributions has been slow. Let’s hope that pace accelerates now that we’ve gotten through year-end and the Omicron spike. Lastly, we are still waiting on the PBGC to provide the Final, Final Rules that will govern the implementation of the SFA distribution. I’m at a loss as to why the delay, which is now seven months since the Interim Final Rules were provided in July 2021.