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Furloughs and Layoffs: Pension Withdrawal Liability Issues and Other Critical Legal Implications

Strafford

July 15, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT
Webcast

Fiduciary Issues; Partial, Complete and Mass Withdrawals; Risks Triggered by Permanent Closures and Layoffs

This CLE webinar will guide employee benefits counsel on potential pension withdrawal liability issues and other legal implications of furloughs and layoffs. The panel will discuss risks and compliance challenges faced by fiduciaries, critical issues regarding partial, complete and mass withdrawals, withdrawal risks triggered by permanent closures and layoffs, and other legal implications.

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted many businesses forcing them to furlough or layoff their employees. For multiemployer pension plans, these furloughs and extended layoffs may trigger full or partial withdrawal liability and employers must act to mitigate these risks.

Generally, employers that contribute to underfunded multiemployer pension plans face significant assessments if they withdraw from such plans. Further, facility closures or ceased operations can 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.

In light of forced furloughs, extended layoffs, and closures during the coronavirus pandemic, employee benefits counsel must have a complete understanding of applicable rules regarding partial, full, and mass withdrawals. In light of recent developments in litigation of withdrawal liability disputes, accurately assessing the impact of furloughs or long-term layoffs triggered by the coronavirus pandemic will assist employers and administrators in limiting claims.

Listen as our authoritative panel shares their experiences with multiemployer pension plans, analyzes the impact of furloughs and layoffs, and offers strategies to minimize risks for contributing employers.

Outline:

  • Impact of COVID-19 on retirement plan administration
  • Overview of multiemployer pension plans
  • Legal implications of furloughs and layoffs
  • Litigation, arbitration, and settlement approaches

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on pension plan administration
  • Critical questions to consider in the event of extended furloughs or layoffs
  • Examining the rules associated with partial withdrawals and potential liability
  • The legal implications of complete withdrawal
  • Monitoring plan participation in funds and withdrawal that may be triggered by closures and layoffs
  • Consequences of temporary or permanent reductions in pension plans
  • Best practices for employers, administrators, and employee benefits counsel

Faculty: Justin S. Alex, Senior Counsel, Proskauer Rose

More Information, How to Register

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