Another Pension Battle Nearing Resolution?

By: Russ Kamp, Managing Director, Ryan ALM, Inc.

We’ve recently gotten greater clarity from the PBGC in announcing their Final, Final Rules related to the ARPA multiemployer pension relief. Could we be getting closer to a resolution related to Delphi’s full-time employees and their pension benefits that were slashed as much as 70% following Delphi’s bankruptcy in 2009? Not all Delphi employees were treated similarly following the bankruptcy, as GM and the PBGC propped up the pensions of unions, but the full-time employees were subject to drastic cuts. The PBGC believed that they were following standard protocol in this matter, and subsequent court decisions supported those actions. However, the US House of Representatives in one of the recently rare examples of bipartisan support passed the Susan Muffley Act of 2022 by a vote of 254-175.

This Act would direct if passed by the Senate, the PBGC to recalculate and adjust each plan participant’s monthly benefits payment, apply the recalculation to previously made monthly payments, and make a lump-sum payment for any additional benefits based on the recalculation. These plan participants have been waiting a long time for a positive outcome. I suspect that many of these Delphi participants have unfortunately passed away during this lengthy process. Let’s hope that the Senate, which has a bipartisan companion bill, takes up the legislation soon so that these plan participants can once again or for the first time enjoy a dignified retirement.

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