Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...
Kenneth R. Feinberg stepped down as the Treasury Department’s special master overseeing the implementation of a controversial law permitting pension cuts.
Feinberg resigned from his role the week of Feb. 27 because his work was “largely complete and there was no reason” to “remain, having helped establish the precedents for reviewing private multiemployer pension plans pursuant to the new law,” Feinberg told Bloomberg BNA March 9.
That law is the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014, also known as the Kline-Miller Act. Under the MPRA, financially troubled multiemployer pension plans can ask Treasury for approval to cut participants’ benefits to avoid insolvency.
During his 21-month tenure as the special master, Feinberg was involved in the approval of one petition under the MPRA—from the Cleveland-based Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund. He was also involved in the rejection of four other applications, including one from the 400,000-member Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund.
During Treasury’s review of Central States’ application, Feinberg was lauded by plan retirees and consumer advocates for holding nationwide telephone conference calls and in-person town hall meetings in various Midwestern cities to hear the concerns of the plan’s participants. During those sessions, many retirees told him how severe and devastating those cuts would be.
When Treasury rejected the application, he was criticized by the plan’s officials and proponents of the MPRA. They argued that the rejection not only jeopardized the future well-being of most of the plan’s participants but also the long-term viability of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which backstops defined benefit plans.
Retirees who escaped immediate benefit cuts, however, considered Treasury’s decision to be a great victory.
The Treasury Department didn’t respond to several requests by Bloomberg BNA for information on who would be replacing Feinberg.
To contact the reporter on this story: David B. Brandolph in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)