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Future Direction and Challenges in U.S. Multiemployer Benefit Plans

8 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2011 Last revised: 24 Aug 2011

Paul M. Secunda

Marquette University - Law School

Date Written: August 22, 2011


Presently, many multiemployer (or Taft-Hartley) plans find themselves in some difficulties. Although these plans once represented one of the great triumphs in labor relations in providing pension, welfare, and health benefits to unionized workers, these plans are now being challenged by a series of financial and demographic, legislative, and judicial developments.

The health of these plans is extremely important as there are still some 10 million participants nationwide in nearly 1,500 multiemployer plans. Many of these workers are to be found in industries such as trucking, entertainment, construction, and retail (i.e., industries where employees frequently move between jobs in the same industry).

Multiemployer plans face a challenging future based on financial, legislative, and judicial challenges. The hope is that by addressing such challenges and considering potential reforms, these historically-important plans will continue to provide needed employee benefits to covered unionized workers.

Keywords: multiemployer plans, Taft-Hartley plans, pensions, health care, withdrawal liability, PPACA, Pension Protection Act of 2006

Suggested Citation

Secunda, Paul M., Future Direction and Challenges in U.S. Multiemployer Benefit Plans (August 22, 2011). Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 11-03. Available at SSRN: or

Paul M. Secunda (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

Eckstein Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States

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