The Fund's Trustees closely monitor the plan's finances to ensure the money coming into the plan from employer contributions and investment earnings is more than sufficient to pay pension benefits to current retirees and to active participants in the future. The relationship between the plan's assets and liabilities is a key measure of its financial health.
Federal law requires the plan to provide participants with notification each year of its funding status. The plan must also notify participants when changes are made to the plan to ensure its adequate long-term funding. This page provides links to these notices.
The Annual Funding Notice discloses the value of the plan's assets in relationship to its liabilities and describes how well the plan is funded. The plan's "funded percentage" is simply the value of its assets divided by its liabilities.
Plans are considered in the "Green Zone" (healthy) when the funded percentage is 80% or above; they are in the "Yellow Zone" (endangered) when the funded percentage is between 65% to 80%; they are in the "Red Zone" (critical) when the funded percentage is below 65%.
In December 2010, the Trustees announced the plan will phase in an adjustment to the benefit accrual rates applicable to credit earned with contributing employers who first contributed to the plan on the participant's behalf before April 1, 2003 under Schedule A (PDF). Schedule A will be replaced with Schedule B (PDF) for all active participants on the first day of the month following the ratification of their collective bargaining agreement replacing the agreement that is in effect on January 1, 2011.
Schedule B will also apply to credit earned with contributing employers who first contributed to the plan on the participant's behalf after April 1, 2003. Schedule B will be in place for all active participants on the first day of the month following the ratification of the collective bargaining agreement that replaces the agreement in effect on January 1, 2011.
In addition, for a limited number of groups, benefits are based on a custom schedule derived from Schedule B.
The latest date that Schedule B will take effect in any instance is January 1, 2014.
These changes are prospective only. Benefit amounts previously earned under Schedule A will remain the same.
The Trustees took this important action in response to the economic downturn in 2008, and stricter funding requirements for pension plans imposed by the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Here are links to the plan change announcement and related publications:
- Participant Notice of Schedule Change (PDF)
- 204(h) Notice (Information about the Benefit Schedule Change) (PDF)
- 204(h) Notice-Exhibit 1 (Contribution Rate Schedule A) (PDF)
- 204(h) Notice-Exhibit 2 (Contribution Rate Schedule B) (PDF)
- 204(h) Notice-Exhibit 3 (Exceptions to Rate Schedules) (PDF)
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Schedule Change (issued February 2011) (PDF)
In June 2010, Congress passed a law that allows pension plans a longer time period for recognizing the investment losses suffered in 2008. The National Pension Plan qualifies for this extension, as outlined in the memo below: