Avoiding Rookie Mistakes in Multiemployer Pension Withdrawal Liability Disputes, in Bloomberg BNA Pension and Benefits Daily

Mark M. Trapp, a Member of the Firm's Chicago office, wrote an article titled "Avoiding Rookie Mistakes in Multiemployer Pension Withdrawal Liability Disputes."

Following is an excerpt:

Employers faced with a withdrawal liability assessment from a multiemployer pension fund soon come face to face with the central requirement of the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 that all disputes concerning the assessment be arbitrated. Most pension funds have a built-in advantage in the arbitration and litigation of withdrawal liability disputes, as they are regularly involved in such matters and generally know the lay of the land. However, for most employers, withdrawal liability assessments are very rare or even once-in-a-lifetime events. Accordingly, in hopes that it can help employers avoid potential "rookie" mistakes, this article seeks to dispel a few common misconceptions held by many multiemployer funds, employers, and practitioners regarding the initiation and conduct of withdrawal liability arbitration proceedings.

According to MPPAA, arbitration proceedings are to "be conducted in accordance with fair and equitable procedures to be promulgated by" the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Pursuant to this grant of authority, PBGC has enacted regulations detailing the initiation and conduct of withdrawal liability arbitrations titled "Arbitration of Disputes in Multiemployer Plans." The regulations are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.

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