Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Multiemployer pension plans cover union-represented participants who work for two or more employers. Plan assets and liabilities are pooled, so the risks and rewards are experienced by the group as a whole. Union and employer representatives collaborate in setting plan policy, defining benefits, and overseeing investments and operations; each side has an equal say. This chapter describes how, spurred by the Pension Protection Act’s new requirements and flexibility, multiemployer plans are adapting to the crisis with a mix of benefit reductions and employer contribution increases aimed at stabilizing their finances, rather than phasing out their defined benefit programs – at least for now


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2012 publication: Reshaping Retirement Security: Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis.

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council © 2011 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.


The authors express their appreciation to The Segal Company for data on which this analysis is based.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 28 June 2019