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NECA Labor Relations Update: 7/30/19

Jul 30, 2019


Employee Benefits Conference Dates and Location Announced

The joint IBEW-NECA 2020 Employee Benefits Conference will be held Sunday, January 26 through Wednesday, January 29 at the TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Following the expanded agenda adopted last year, this year’s conference will begin with an ERTS update and fund administrators meeting on Sunday, workshops will begin on Monday, and the conference plenary sessions will be held Tuesday and Wednesday. 

The conference is held for the benefit of fund administrators, local union business managers, chapter managers, trustees, and fund professionals and staff. The primary goal of the conference is the dissemination of knowledge from presenters familiar with the specialized world of NECA-IBEW benefit plans and the opportunity for peer-to-peer networking.

Watch for the registration and hotel reservation materials which will be sent out in the next few weeks. Even with the move to a larger facility, the conference hotel sold out last year. 

Download official memo here »


Electrical Industry Pension Plans Continue the Climb to Solid Funding

If you haven’t reviewed the 2018 Edition of “A Survey of Electrical Worker Pension Plans,” you will be pleased to find that most NECA-IBEW plans are continuing to improve their financial positions.  Here are some encouraging findings from the survey.

“Plan trustees have taken significant action to improve their plans’ funding levels in the wake of the 2008 market collapse. At the end of 2016, the median funded percentage was 83.0%. For comparison, the median funded percentage at the end of 2015 was 81.0% - the one-year increase to the funded percentage was mostly due to higher than assumed returns during 2016. Note that this does not reflect returns from 2017 (positive) and 2018 (negative). Still, a funded percentage of 83.0% is a significant improvement over the median funded percentage at the end of 2008 (69.0%), and slightly lower than the median funded percentage at the beginning of 2008 (86.3%). It is worth noting that the majority of Electrical Worker plans were better funded in 2016 than in the early 2000s. 

“Similarly, in 2009 (immediately following the 2008 market collapse), 43.5% of plans were in the “green zone” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA); the remaining 56.5% of plans were in endangered status (“yellow zone”) or critical status (“red zone”). For 2016, the percentage of plans in the green zone was 77.1%, leaving 22.9% of plans in endangered status or critical status. While investment gains after 2008 were a major factor in this shift, actions by plan trustees to improve their plans’ funding levels were also significant. 

“Under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), a multiemployer pension plan is in “critical and declining” status if it is projected to become insolvent in the next 15 to 20 years. Plans in this status may be eligible for additional tools under MPRA, such as benefit suspensions, partitions, and facilitated mergers. In 2016, there were no Electrical Worker plans certified in critical and declining status.”

The National Electrical Contractors Association and Horizon Actuarial Services, LLC (Horizon Actuarial) have partnered to build this survey of historical data for multiemployer pension plans covering Electrical Workers in the construction industry. The data in this fifth edition of the survey was compiled during 2018. The data in the survey is based on publicly available information from Form 5500 filings, which was available for plan years ending on or about December 31, 2016.

The surveys have been done regularly from 2013 – 2018 (no survey was done in 2015) and are available here »