Tell Congress to Protect Your Pension Benefits
In February 2018, Congress established a bipartisan Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans. This Committee is tasked with producing legislation by November 30, 2018 to address the dire solvency issues facing over 100 multiemployer pension funds across the US, such as the American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Fund (AFM-EPF).
The Fund has set up a webpage with more information on the Joint Select Committee and how participants can make their voices heard in Congress. Click here
to learn how you can contact your own Members of Congress and the Joint Select Committee.
The voices of our 50,000 participants and those of other funds facing insolvency will be crucial in persuading members of the Joint Select Committee to act this year to produce and pass legislation that fully and fairly solves this crisis.
AFM-EPF Remains in "Critical" Status for Another Fiscal Year Due to Higher Than Expected Investment Earnings
At the May 24, 2018 meeting of the Board of Trustees of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Fund, our actuaries advised that better than expected investment earnings will keep the Plan in "critical" and not yet "critical and declining" status for another fiscal year.
Please view the May 24 issue of Pension Fund Notes
for information on this determination of status and what it means for participants.
AFM-EPF Holds Q&A Webinar for Fund Participants
On Monday, January 29, the AFM-EPF held a Q&A webinar for Fund participants. Fund Trustees, Staff and Plan Advisors answered questions submitted by participants in real time.
to listen to the webinar.
A lawsuit was filed by two participants against the Trustees and the Executive Director challenging, among other things, certain investment decisions on behalf of the Fund. On behalf of the defendants, the Executive Director issued the following public statement:
The lawsuit filed against the Board of Trustees and Executive Director of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Fund is entirely without merit. The Board of Trustees and staff of the Fund have always taken our fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. Every step of the way, we have consulted with respected and experienced investment experts in the industry, closely reviewed investment options, and always acted in the best interests of the Fund's nearly 50,000 participants and beneficiaries.
The lawsuit is directed at the performance of fund investments. But there are many other causes of the Fund's present financial predicament. Many multiemployer pension plans across the nation are struggling with a similar "perfect storm" of challenging factors. These include the volume of Baby Boomers taking retirement; more benefits being paid out to retirees and beneficiaries than contributions coming in from actives; and significantly longer pay-outs because participants are thankfully living longer. Additionally, two major recessions since 2000, the one in 2008-09 being of epic proportions and causing the collapse of financial markets worldwide, have profoundly impacted pension plans across the nation.
The Trustees, Executive Director and staff of the Fund have responded prudently to all challenges and have consistently based their decisions on the counsel of proven investment advisors and actuaries.
We will vigorously contest this lawsuit, and expect to prevail. Our focus will continue to be on doing everything we can to preserve the hard-earned benefits of our participants and beneficiaries.