In today’s Federal Register, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) published its final rule regarding the Special Financial Assistance (SFA) program for troubled multiemployer defined benefit plans. The SFA program was created by the American Rescue Plan Act to shore up struggling multiemployer pension plans through 2051.
SWACCA joined its allies in the Construction Employers of America (CEA) to submit comments on the PBGC’s interim final rule implementing the SFA last August. In those comments, SWACCA urged the PBGC to provide trustees flexibility to address plan needs and not unduly limit the options available to plan trustees to address plan deficiencies and insolvency. We are pleased that the PBGC heeded our concerns with publication of the final rule. Specifically, the PBGC’s final rule loosens investment restrictions from the interim final rule and allows 33 percent of SFA funds to be invested in “return-seeking assets,” such as public equities, equity funds that invest primarily in public shares, and bonds. The other 67 percent of SFA funds must be invested in investment-grade fixed-income products.