|Sept. 5, 2017 | www.fisherphillips.com|
A federal appeals court has handed multiemployer pension plans a blank check to assess increased withdrawal liability against employers exiting a plan. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Westrock RKT Company v. PACE Industry Union-Management Pension Fund is bad news for employers already saddled with statutory withdrawal liability costing millions of dollars. This new decision means multiemployer pension plans in “critical” status are free to add their own assessments on top of existing obligations under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 (MEPPAA).
You may recall that President Trump signed an executive order on the day of his inauguration directing all agencies to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) pending its repeal. You may recall also that employers were not mentioned specifically, though the executive order explicitly instructed agency heads to reduce the fiscal burden on individuals and states.