Preparing for Change in the Collective Bargaining Process: Health Reform and Multiemployer Pension Withdrawal Liability

Hyatt Morristown at Headquarters Plaza3 Speedwell Avenue
Morristown NJ 07960

As 2014 rapidly approaches, employers of all sizes and industries are working to understand what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means for them and what they must do to comply. For employers with unions who provide medical benefits through multiemployer health and welfare plans, the process is more complicated and the options vary. In addition, the financial burdens of multiemployer pension plan commitments continue to challenge employers, with no end in sight. The nation's second-largest fund illustrates the multiemployer problem—it pays out $2.8 billion per year in benefits but brings in only $700 million. Not surprisingly, its executive director recently stated that "there is a reasonable possibility that this plan could run out of money in about a dozen years."

This interactive workshop offers employers with unionized workforces the opportunity to learn innovative and aggressive negotiating techniques and strategies for addressing those challenges. Particularly, the workshop will:

  • address unique ACA-related issues and the specific problems that a unionized employer faces in dealing with ACA's fast-approaching effective date;
  • provide a broad understanding of the challenges facing employers whose employees are in multiemployer pension plans;
  • offer participating employers strategies for assessing and minimizing their risk through collective bargaining and business planning; and
  • provide specific knowledge on negotiating withdrawals and the procedures for challenging withdrawal liability assessments and resolving these claims on the most favorable terms.

8:00 a.m.
— Registration and Breakfast
8:30 a.m. — The Affordable Care Act
10:30 a.m. — Morning Break
10:45 a.m. — Multi-Employer Pension Withdrawal Liability
12:30 p.m. — Lunch

The Affordable Care Act:

  • Applicability to your unionized workforce
  • Timeline for employers
  • Planning for 2014
  • What is the employer mandate?
    • Does contributing to a multiemployer plan fulfill my obligation under the mandate?
    • Who is an applicable large employer?
    • How do I calculate a full-time employee?
    • What are the potential penalties?
    • Negotiating the pay-or-play option
  • Planning beyond 2014
    • Issues for negotiations
    • Implementation checklist
    • New developments

Multi-Employer Pension Withdrawal Liability:

  • Latest news, issues, and a litigation update
  • Financial condition of multiemployer pension funds, future outlook
  • The mechanics of withdrawal liability
    • The statute, its history, how it works, etc.
    • Types of withdrawal—complete, partial, and mass
    • Special industry rules
    • Assessments, requests for review, etc.
    • Arbitration
    • Potential landmines
    • Defenses (and non-defenses)
  • Business planning issues
    • How to assess the potential benefits and risks
    • Business planning for the future and "control group" liability
    • "Trades or businesses" and joint and several liability
    • Transactions to evade or avoid withdrawal liability
    • Sale of stock or assets, and successorship issues
  • Strategies for collective bargaining
    • Should you withdraw? Staying in vs. getting out
    • How to handle, and plan for, withdrawal liability
    • Information requests
    • Dealing with critical status surcharges and rehabilitation plans
    • Impasse and implementation, and indemnification
    • Negotiating directly with a fund for reduced liability
    • Fund responses and rules
  • Effect of new "hybrid multiemployer plans" offered by certain funds
  • Legislative update

Please join us for lunch immediately following the program.

Who Should Attend:
General Counsel
Chief Operating Officers
Chief Financial Officers
Human Resources Professionals
Business Owners
Managers with HR Responsibilities

The fee for this briefing is $50 for the first person and $25 for each additional person from the same company. The fee includes breakfast, meeting handouts, and lunch.

Overnight accommodations may be made directly with the hotel.

To register, please click here.

For additional information, please contact
Elizabeth Gannon or call 202/861-1850.