March 17, 2021
AFM-EPF Withdraws MPRA Application
Proposed benefit reductions will not be implemented
Today, the AFM-EPF Trustees met to review an actuarial analysis of the pension relief provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and they decided to withdraw the Plan’s application to reduce benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA).
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has been notified of the decision.
As a result, there will be no MPRA benefit reductions. Please disregard the “Notice of a Proposed Reduction of Your Pension Benefit” that you received in January 2021.
March 10, 2021
Congress Passes Multiemployer Pension Relief Legislation
President Biden is expected to sign bill into law this week
Today, the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which includes the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021. This is fantastic news for AFM-EPF participants. This legislation is intended to pay for all Plan benefits over the next 30 years, without the need for benefit reductions. President Biden is expected to sign it into law this week.
We never would have achieved this important victory without the combined efforts of so many participants, unions, employers and multiemployers pension plans. Thank you for all of the emails, calls and other ways that you made your voice heard with your elected officials over the past few years.
The Trustees will meet next week to review an actuarial analysis of the legislation's impact on the AFM-EPF. As we have said previously, if this analysis confirms that the legislation will provide the intended financial relief to our Pension Plan, the Trustees plan to withdraw the MPRA application. This action would cancel the benefit reductions that are proposed in the application.
February 12, 2021
Marc Sandman to serve as an Employer Trustee of the AFM-EP Fund
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Marc Sandman to serve as an Employer Trustee of the AFM-EP Fund effective March 15, 2021. Marc has many years of experience as a labor relations executive and labor attorney. He also has served as a trustee of large multiemployer pension plans in the entertainment industry, including two SAG-AFTRA plans, the DGA plan and the WGA plan.
Marc Sandman Resume
January 28, 2021
The Fund Office has been notified by our bank that the U.S. Postal Service is experiencing significant delays throughout their network due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in extremely high increase in volume and facility closures. This means January payments were delayed in some areas across the U.S. and they expect the same for February, which may also delay the receipt of tax forms and February payments. Despite Postal Service delays, we can still help you get the information you need.
Get Your 1099-R Tax Form Online Without Waiting
The good news is that your 1099-R tax form is ready online right now. To get your 1099-R tax form (and other AFM-EPF communications) without waiting for mail, here’s what you do:
- Register on this site if you haven’t already.
- On the "Document Delivery Options" page, select "Deliver documents to me via e-mail".
- You are now set up to receive all AFM-EPF communications via email. Documents tailored especially for you (for example, 1099-R tax form or historical copies of your Annual Covered Earnings Report) are posted in your personal portal.
If you ever change your mind, you can revert back to paper at any time by clicking Contact Us
on the website or email PensionSupport@afmepf.org
Sign Up for Direct Deposit
You can also by-pass Postal Service slowness issues by completing this Direct Deposit form
. Instead of potentially waiting for your pension check to arrive, your benefit payment is deposited by the first business day of each month. Easy to follow instructions are on the back of the form.
Advantages of Online Fund Services
While setting up these online services can be faster and more convenient for you, they are also:
- More secure because the information is delivered directly from the Fund to you (or your bank in the case of Direct Deposit).
- Avoids the COVID exposure for you and any service providers managing the printing process and postal service delivery
- Saves the Fund money in printing costs and postage costs
- Environmentally friendly (save a tree!)
While we can’t control the Postal Service operations’ speed, we can make sure you have other ways to get what you need (payments, tax forms and communication) from the Fund. We encourage you to take advantage of these important services so you can skip right over the slowness problems at the Postal Service.
January 7, 2021
Martha Hyde to serve as a Union Trustee of the AFM-EP Fund
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Martha Hyde to serve as a Union Trustee of the AFM-EP Fund
effective February 9, 2021. Martha has many years of experience as a professional musician
performing in the orchestras as a Broadway and symphonic musician. She also has extensive experience
representing professional musicians in those workplaces spending more than 25 years as a Trustee of the Local 802 Musicians Health Fund.
Martha Hyde Resume
June 9, 2020
Snitzer and Livant v. The Board of Trustees of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Fund, et al., No. 1:17-cv-05361-VEC.
As you may know, two participants brought a lawsuit against certain current and former Trustees of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Plan. The Federal District Court in New York has preliminarily approved a proposed class action settlement of that lawsuit.
If you were a participant or beneficiary in the Plan at any time during the period from August 9, 2010 through May 18, 2020 you should receive a copy of the notice approved by the Court describing the proposed settlement and your legal rights and options. That notice, as well as other case documents, have been posted to a settlement website, which you can view at www.afm-epfsettlement.com
Settlement Reached to End Litigation Against AFM-EPF Trustees
On March 25, 2020, a settlement was reached in the July 2017 litigation filed against certain current and former AFM-EPF Trustees. The defendants continue to deny all plaintiffs' claims, and nothing in the settlement is an admission of any fault.
In fact, Phyllis Borzi, the former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Obama – who was the top government official responsible for enforcing fiduciary obligations, and who the plaintiffs describe as "viewed as a champion of pension holders rights" – concluded that the Trustees did not breach their fiduciary duty in connection with the Plan's asset allocation. She further opined that the Trustees' decision-making process met or exceeded industry standards of prudence. Similarly, Cary Franklin of Horizon Actuarial Services – one of the most respected actuaries in the multiemployer plan community – concluded that the Trustees' asset allocation decisions represented reasonable measures and that the "Trustees' process was second to none."
Under the settlement, which is subject to court approval, a payment will be made by the defendants' fiduciary insurers into the Plan. The settlement also provides for the Trustees to implement a number of mutually agreed-upon Plan governance provisions.
As is clear from Ms. Borzi's and Mr. Franklin's conclusions, we have always taken our fiduciary responsibility seriously and acted prudently in the best interests of all Plan participants. We are pleased that two and a half years of litigation has been brought to a close, and that a needless, costly and disruptive court battle can be avoided. Having put this significant distraction to rest, we will continue to maintain a singular focus on the vital mission of preserving the Plan's solvency for all active participants, retirees and beneficiaries, now and in the future.
All active participants, retirees and beneficiaries of deceased participants should be receiving an official "Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement" in the coming weeks, which contains a more detailed summary of the terms of the settlement. The Notice will advise participants to whom they should direct their questions about the settlement.