Dear Guild members:
We will end this week the way we began it: with an update on where things stand with what we believe might be a full rescue of the Guild pension on its way.
As Monday’s bulletin said, the $1.9 trillion stimulus package approved by Congress and signed by President Biden Thursday includes $86 billion in financial aid for multiemployer pension plans like the one available to vested Inquirer/Daily News Guild members.
Recent projections had the Guild pension fund running out of cash around 2024/25, around the same time that an insurance fund that was supposed to kick in and at least cover a portion of pension payments in such disastrous circumstances was also projected to go broke.
We serve as trustees on the pension plan and earlier this week asked for professional input on whether the new stimulus package known as the American Rescue Plan really will save the pension. We are still awaiting official word.
We can say that a consulting actuary on the fund said Thursday “it sounds as though” the Guild pension fund will qualify for “enough financial assistance to cover all benefits due” for 30 years (through 2051), with no cuts to earned benefits.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The pension fund administrators now await word from Washington on how to apply for the money. Those regulations could take up to 120 days to come out.
So, until then, we wait. As soon as we know something more, you will know it.
AGAIN, there are NO ASSURANCES as of yet, just cautious optimism from the actuary, who is calling it “very promising news for the … pension fund.”
WHO DO I CALL FOR PENSION PAYOUT INFO?
Anyone vested in the pension who wants to know when they qualify to begin taking pension payments and how much those monthly payments would be, please call Benefit Processing Inc. in Cherry Hill at 856-616-2090. THEY HANDLE ALL OF THAT. THE GUILD DOES NOT.
Diane Mastrull, president
Bill Ross, executive director