The Mechanical Contractors Association of America Inc. (MCAA) has joined forces with United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) to urge strong support of the Solutions Not Bailouts (SNB) multiemployer pension plan reform proposal.

That proposal was developed by the Retirement Security Review Commission of the National Coordination Committee for Multiemployer Plans on which MCAA was represented along with over 40 other national labor and management groups, including professionals from all plan disciplines — actuaries, lawyers, consultants, plan administrators, and bargaining parties.

SNB would give multiemployer pension plans the new tools they need to ensure the long-term viability of reliable retirement benefits for participants and their families. At the same time it would improve the sustainability of these plans in the markets for sponsoring employers, MCAA President Michael R. Cables and UA General President William P. Hite said in a joint letter to the House of Representatives and Senate leadership.

“The SNB proposal is fair, judicious and balanced,” Cables noted in announcing the joint UA/MCAA statement of support.

“It gives plan trustees and collective bargaining parties the options they need to strengthen their plans to provide stability to our invaluable pension system far into the indefinite future.

“SNB does not involve Congressional mandates — it allows sound options and choices at the professional discretion of plan fiduciaries — trustees and bargaining parties representing workers, pensioners and their families and contributing employers.”

Cables said MCAA will work with the UA, nationally and locally, “to make sure lawmakers in the Senate and House hear from labour and management constituents back home about how vitally important enactment of SNB is for their constituents this year.

“The system is in growing jeopardy, along with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. safety net insurance program,” Cables said, warning that the industry and employees and pensioners cannot tolerate further Congressional delay or inaction this year.

Adopting the suggestions in SNB would not require changes to plans or to benefits. Rather, it would provide multiemployer defined benefit pension plans with additional tools to be used in strictly limited circumstances to meet the needs of individual plans. The SNB includes three categories of proposals:

  • Those proposals that will preserve and strengthen the current system
  • Innovative proposals for alternative plan design structures
  • Measures designed to help deeply troubled plans.

MCAA represents approximately 2,800 firms involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping, and mechanical service. It includes the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, the Plumbing Contractors of America, the Manufacturer/Supplier Council, the Mechanical Contracting Education and Research Foundation and the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau.

Source: Daily Commercial News