Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal: An In-Depth Examination
Strategies for Minimizing Liability and Challenging Assessments
Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A
Conducted on Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Recorded event now available
This CLE webinar will provide counsel to employers that contribute to multiemployer pension plans with an in-depth examination of several recent trends related to multiemployer plan withdrawal liability. The panel will outline recent developments in withdrawal liability litigation, tips for handling withdrawal liability issues in corporate transactions, and changes to the assessment of withdrawal liability related to the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.
Employers that contribute to underfunded multiemployer pension plans face significant assessments if they seek to completely withdraw from such plans. Further, corporate transactions—mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and facility closures—can all result in triggering a partial or complete withdrawal liability assessment. Adding to that risk, under ERISA each member of a controlled group is jointly and severally responsible for withdrawal liability.
Recent developments in litigation of withdrawal liability disputes are instructive for employers and their counsel, including recent cases from the Seventh and Ninth Circuits, which clarify and, in some aspects, expand the doctrine of successor liability in the context of employer withdrawal liability. Funds are developing aggressive litigation strategies to leverage these recent decisions.
Although the MPRA offers opportunities to help severely stressed plans regain their financial footing by reducing participant benefits in certain circumstances, MPRA also made several important changes to the calculation and assessment of withdrawal liability, which can also impact corporate decision making and collective bargaining strategy.
Listen as our authoritative panel shares their experiences with multiemployer pension plans and explains how these recent developments can impact liability and litigation strategy for contributing employers.
- Overview of multiemployer pension plans
- Partial and complete withdrawals
- Controlled group and successor liability
- Recent MPRA changes
- Collective bargaining
- Arbitration and settlement strategies
The panel will review these and other key issues:
- How can employers address collective bargaining in the context of potential pension liabilities?
- How should employers respond to a critical status/surcharge notice from a multiemployer pension plan?
- How can employers assess and deal with potential withdrawal liability exposure in both the sort term and long term.
This is an encore presentation with live Q&A.
Angela Marie Hubbell, Partner
Quarles & Brady,
Ms. Hubbell Co-Chairs the firm's ERISA Litigation Practice and has significant benefits and employment litigation experience in both trial and appellate courts. Her practice involves counseling and representing employers on a broad range of employee benefits issues, including multiemployer pension plan issues, retirement plans, executive compensation, ERISA compliance, and benefits-related tax issues.
Patrick W. Spangler, Shareholder
Mr. Spangler works with in-house counsel and management to provide advice related to litigation, major business changes, and compliance issues. He has defended a wide range of employment-related cases and has significant experience defending ERISA claims, including breach of fiduciary, retiree health and multiemployer fund litigation. Mr. Spangler is a frequent author and lecturer on employment law topics.
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The seminar reinforced information and explained issues in a clear manner without being either too elementary or too technical.
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Employment & ERISA Advisory Board
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Holland & Hart
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Epstein Becker & Green
Freeman Freeman Smiley
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