Human Resource & Labor News
www.agc.orgApril 10, 2015 / Issue No. 02-15
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On the Inside
HR Training
Save The Date: Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference Set for Oct. 7-9 in St. Louis, MO
AGC to Host Webinars on E-Verify & Form I-9 Compliance April 28 & 29
Labor Relations
How to Prepare for New “Quickie Election” Rule Covered at AGC Convention
Building Trades President McGarvey Shares Views and Priorities at AGC Convention
NLRB Issues Guidance Concerning Employee Rules
Wages & Benefits
Labor Department Publishes Videos on Davis-Bacon Wage Survey Process and Form, Plans More Survey Briefings
IRS Releases Final Instructions, Forms for Employer Information Reporting Requirements Under Health Care Law
Affordable Care Act Cadillac Tax Questions Answered
AGC Submits Comments on Multiemployer Pension Reform Implementation
EEO
Supreme Court Questions Employer's Light Duty Policy in Pregnancy Discrimination Case
Definition of Spouse Expanded Under FMLA, Halted in Four States by Federal Judge
OFCCP Creates LGBT Resources for Federal Contractors
AGC Submits Comments on Multiemployer Pension Reform Implementation
 

On April 6, AGC filed two group comment letters on implementation of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA).  One letter was sent to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in response to a Request for Information about plan partitions and facilitated mergers.  The other letter was sent to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in response to a Request for Information about suspensions of benefits.    

The following contractor associations joined AGC on the comments:  The Association of Union Constructors, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Electrical Contractors Association, and Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association.  Professionals from Horizon Actuarial Services and the law firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson assisted in the drafting.

The letter to IRS highlights that the benefit suspensions under MPRA are designed to address the pressing needs of plans in critical and declining status to act expeditiously to avoid insolvency while saving the maximum amount of benefits possible. AGC believes the intent of the statute is clear, but that the approval process should include a review of the decision‐making process in designing the benefit suspensions and not a full reconsideration of the judgment of the plan trustees and their advisors. AGC asked IRS to provide guidance that clearly sets expectations for the applications while not creating unnecessary burdens on plan trustees that could delay necessary action. Once guidance has been issued, IRS should review and approve applications for benefit suspensions as quickly as possible.

The letter to PBGC reiterates comments to the IRS regarding the need for expedient review.  It further asserts that, because partitions and facilitated mergers will usually occur concurrently with benefit suspensions, it is important for PBGC and Treasury to communicate actively with each other throughout the approval process.

AGC will continue to monitor the implementation of MPRA and comment when appropriate. AGC is also advocating for additional legislative reforms to the multiemployer system, including the creation of new plan designs which would further help stabilize the system while limiting employer liability and providing lifetime retirement security to plan participants.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or Denise Gold at goldd@agc.org.


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