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Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal: An In-Depth Examination


Mar. 18, 2020
Recorded Online

Strategies for Minimizing Liability and Challenging Assessments

This CLE webinar will provide counsel to employers that contribute to multiemployer pension plans with an in-depth examination of several recent trends related to multiemployer plan withdrawal liability. The panel will discuss the recent court ruling in Sun Capital, tips for handling withdrawal liability issues in corporate transactions, and developments related to the assessment of withdrawal liability, which resulted from the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.

Employers that contribute to underfunded multiemployer pension plans face significant assessments if they withdraw from such plans. Further, corporate transactions -- mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and facility closures--can all result in triggering a partial or complete withdrawal liability assessment. Adding to that risk, under ERISA, each member of a controlled group is jointly and severally responsible for withdrawal liability.

Recent developments in litigation of withdrawal liability disputes can instruct employers and their counsel, which clarify and, in some aspects, expand the doctrine of successor liability in the context of employer withdrawal liability. Funds are developing aggressive litigation strategies to leverage these recent decisions.

Listen as our authoritative panel shares their experiences with multiemployer pension plans and explains how these recent developments can impact liability and litigation strategy for contributing employers.


  • Overview of multiemployer pension plans
  • Partial and complete withdrawals
  • Controlled group and successor liability
  • Developing litigation issues including the New York Times case and Segal Blend method
  • Collective bargaining strategies
  • Arbitration and settlement approaches

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can employers obtain information about their multiemployer fund exposure and analyze these liabilities?
  • How can employers address wages and other conditions of employment in the context of potential pension liabilities?
  • How do businesses consider withdrawal liability in the context of an anticipated corporate transaction?
  • How can employers assess and deal with potential withdrawal liability exposure in both the short term and long term?


  • Michael G. Congiu, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson
  • Patrick W. Spangler, Shareholder, Vedder Price

More Information, How to Register

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