ARPA Update as of February 10, 2023

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

The anticipation of the “big game” impacts us all in a variety of ways. It appears to have distracted the PBGC, too, as little was accomplished last week as it relates to the implementation of the ARPA legislation to rescue struggling multiemployer pension plans.

There were no new applications filed with the PBGC seeking Special Financial Assistance (SFA) and no applications that were either approved or denied. However, there was one plan that withdrew its application. The Defined Benefit Plan for the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association Local Union 394 Pension Trust Fund (say that 10 times fast!), a Priority Group 5 plan seeking $6.9 million in SFA for its 464 plan participants, withdrew its initial application on February 7th.

In other news, the PBGC did announce last week that the window for Priority Group 6 plans, the last official “priority” window, has opened effective February 11th. As the chart below indicates, there are 14 Priority Group 6 plans that could potentially file an SFA application.

Finally, it is left to be seen just what the process will look like for the more than 200 unclassified plans that could potentially file an application with the PBGC to receive SFA for their struggling plans. Will the process be orderly or will it devolve into a free-for-all?

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