Many beer distributors participate in multi-employer, defined benefit or pension plans and have met their contribution responsibilities; however, a number of these plans remain underfunded. The withdrawal penalties imposed on employers could exceed the net worth of their businesses, meaning they face the prospect of enormous withdrawal payments if they sell their businesses or take action that would trigger the liability.
House and Senate leadership have appointed a bipartisan 2018 Pension Select Committee tasking 16 members – equally divided between the House and Senate – to work together to identify an acceptable solution to improve the funding shortfalls of struggling plans. The Select Committee is expected to report its recommendations back to Congress later this year.
NBWA supports the Select Committee and efforts to enact policies to resolve the problems impacting both employers and beneficiaries of multi-employer pension plans. As Congress works to address longer term solvency for these plans, NBWA encourages Congress to consider solutions that specifically address withdrawal liability.