Dear Guild Members:
As we have told you in recent weeks, an unexpected part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was a lifeline for multiemployer pension plans throughout the United States facing insolvency, including the one for Guild retirees. In short, our pension plan, once expected to run out of money by 2026, would be saved for at least 30 years.
As pension trustees, we have been in constant touch with administrators, actuaries and attorneys for the Guild pension fund to bring you definitive word of the plan rescue as soon as that was established.
The cause of the delay: The Act gave the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), the entity that will administer the expected $94 billion in assistance to more than 200 pension plans, 120 days to issue regulations on how the program will be run, including how and when pension funds should apply for financial assistance.
Attached is status information and more prepared by counsel for the Guild pension plan board of trustees. As you will see, our plan MAY NOT apply for financial assistance before Feb. 11, 2023, because it is not projected to run out of money until 2026. Plans that have already gone under get to go first.
We have been assured our delayed application will in no way jeopardize our receipt of rescue funds, assuming we are approved. The phased application is simply intended to pace the process so that there isn’t a traffic jam of sorts that would only result in plans waiting and waiting and waiting to get an answer on their application approval.
Out of an abundance of caution, no one is willing to say with 100% certainty that the Guild pension plan is saved until our application is approved by the PBGC. Even denials can be appealed, further extending the process.
We know those in retirement or close to it want absolutes so you have a clear financial picture. None of the professionals seem to doubt our pension will be saved, but saying so before we know for certain would simply be reckless.
Please be patient.
And as always, we’ll do our best to answer any questions you might still have after reading all this material.
Diane and Bill