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The Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014

Changes to Multiemployer Pension Plans

On December 16, 2014, the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) was enacted into law. In MPRA, Congress established a new process for multiemployer pension plans to propose a temporary or permanent reduction of pension benefits if a plan is projected to run out of money before paying all promised benefits.

MPRA requires the Treasury Department, in consultation with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the Department of Labor, to review a multiemployer pension plan’s application to reduce benefits and determine whether it meets the requirements set by Congress.

It is important to note that most multiemployer pension plans are sufficiently funded and will not be eligible to apply for a reduction of pension benefits under MPRA.  To find out if MPRA could impact you, contact your pension plan.

The resources on this page provide additional information about MPRA and the Treasury Department’s process for reviewing applications to reduce benefits paid by multiemployer pension plans that are in critical and declining status.

On May 6, 2016, Secretary Lew sent a letter to Congress regarding the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. You can view that letter here.


New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund Application to Reduce Benefits

 

On August 3, 2017, the Board of Trustees of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund (Fund) was notified that its application to reduce pension benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) was approved by Treasury.  As a result, the proposed benefit reduction will now be subject to a vote of participants and beneficiaries of the Fund.  The voting period opens August 16, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. ET and closes September 6, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET.  Ballots were mailed to participants and beneficiaries on August 16, 2017. 
Unless a majority of participants and beneficiaries vote to reject the proposed benefit reduction, the proposed benefit reduction will go into effect on October 1, 2017.  
Under a special rule in MPRA, even if a majority of eligible participants and beneficiaries votes to reject the proposed benefit reduction, the proposed benefit reduction (or a modified version of the proposed reduction) can still be made.  This special rule applies for a pension plan if the estimated cost to PBGC of providing guaranteed benefits if that plan runs out of money is over $1 billion (indexed for inflation).  Under this special rule, the person who has been appointed to be the PBGC’s Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate may recommend possible modifications to the proposed benefit reduction. It has not yet been determined whether this special rule applies to the Fund.​
To see what the mailing envelope looks like, click here.  To see a sample of the ballot materials and the voting instructions, click here and here
 
The Treasury Department will be hosting 3 conference calls with participants and beneficiaries to explain the voting procedures and take questions on those procedures.
 
The conference calls will be held on the following dates and times:
 
                                Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 1 p.m. ET
                                Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 8 p.m. ET
                                Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 10 a.m. ET
 
The dial-in number is 888-947-9025.  When prompted, the passcode is 9012761.


United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A Application to Reduce Benefits

On July 20, 2017, the application of the Board of Trustees of the United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A (Fund) to reduce pension benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) was approved.  The proposed benefit reductions will now be subject to a vote of participants and beneficiaries of the Fund.  Unless a majority of participants and beneficiaries vote to reject the benefit reduction, the reduction will go into effect on September 1, 2017.

Ballot materials were mailed on August 3, 2017.  The voting period opens August 3, 2017, at 12 01 a.m. ET and closes August 24, 2017, at 8 p.m. ET.  

If you want to see what the mailing envelope looks like, click here​.  If you want to see a sample of the ballot materials and the voting instructions, click here​ and here​ . The ballot package you receive in the mail includes an explanation of how the proposed benefit reduction would affect your personal benefit.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the voting process, click  here

The Treasury Department will be hosting 3 conference calls to explain the voting procedures and take questions on those procedures. The teleconferences will be held on the following dates and times:

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 11 a.m. ET

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 7 p.m. ET

Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 1 p.m. ET

 

The dial-in number is 1-800-369-2065.  When prompted, the passcode is 8572802.

Final Regulations Released

On April 26, 2016, the Treasury Department released final regulations implementing the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (Kline-Miller).  These regulations finalize the proposed and temporary regulations that were issued in June 2015 and September 2015 and address stakeholder comments.

The final regulations do not change the basic requirements for applications to reduce pension benefits. They provide further clarifications based on information received during the public comment period. The final regulations can be viewed online here.

Notice

If you are a participant in a multiemployer pension plan that has submitted a benefit suspension application, the plan's Board of Trustees is required to provide notice of the application to reduce benefits to you.  That notice is also required to include an individualized estimate of the effect of the proposed benefit reductions on you.  If you have questions about how proposed benefit reductions will specifically impact you, please contact the plan administrator.  Contact information for the plan administrator is available in the summary plan description for your pension plan.

Other Details


Under Kline-Miller, Treasury is responsible for determining whether the application for a reduction of benefits meets the requirements set by Congress.  Benefits cannot be reduced until after the following actions take place:
 
  • The plan sponsor must notify participants and beneficiaries of the application for a benefit reduction and provide an individualized estimate of reduced benefits
  • Participants and beneficiaries must have an opportunity to comment on the application
  • Treasury must review and, if the application satisfies all of the Kline-Miller requirements, must  approve the application 
  • Participants and beneficiaries must have an opportunity to vote on the benefit reduction
 
Treasury has up to 225 days to approve or deny an application, and, if an application is approved, 30 days to administer a vote on the proposed benefit reductions.
 
 
 
 

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Last Updated: 8/15/2017 5:45 PM

Frequently Asked Questions

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