Income Planning

On Pensions & System Solvency

Actuaries Urge Continuation of Efforts to Address Multiemployer Pension System Challenges

WASHINGTON—Following the congressional Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multi-employer Pension Plans’ reaching its statutory deadline without coming to an agreement on proposed legislation to address multi-employer system solvency issues, the American Academy of Actuaries urges Congress to continue efforts to address the issues.

“The solvency challenges facing multi-employer plans are not going away on their own. These challenges have wide-ranging consequences for the participants and sponsors of distressed plans, as well as for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and taxpayers,” said Josh Shapiro, the Academy’s vice president, pension. “Time is of the essence in addressing multi-employer system challenges, as the potential consequences of inaction only grow with time.”

Shed Light On Options

The Academy looks forward to continuing to work with Congress, building on its significant contributions providing nonpartisan, actuarially informed expertise and advice regarding options to strengthen the multi-employer system. Leading up to and throughout the term of the joint select committee in 2018, the Academy helped shed light on those options for Congress and the public, by:

  • Testifying before the joint select committee in April 2018 on the history and structure of the multi-employer system.
  • Providing detailed responses to select committee members’ follow-up questions on a wide range of multi-employer topics, including: Employee Retirement Income Security Act and Pension Protection Act requirements; PBGC rules and guarantees; plan funding standards and methods; employer bankruptcies, withdrawals, and liabilities; mortality and investment return assumptions; contribution and benefit levels; risk disclosures; plan asset valuation; and corrective actions under the Multi-employer Pension Reform Act.
  • Analyzing specific policy proposals for select committee staff, including loan programs, benefit adjustments, and the PBGC’s multi-employer program.
  • Publishing policy issue briefs on pertinent topics such as loan programs for underfundedmulti-employer plans and options to address failing multiemployer plans and ways to strengthen the multi-employer pension system.

Learn more about the Academy’s public policy work on multi-employer issues under the “Public Policy” tab at



About the American Academy of Actuaries
The American Academy of Actuaries is a 19,500+ member professional association whose mission is to serve the public and the U.S. actuarial profession. For more than 50 years, the Academy has assisted public policymakers on all levels by providing leadership, objective expertise, and actuarial advice on risk and financial security issues. The Academy also sets qualification, practice, and professionalism standards for actuaries in the United States.