Do Contractors Still Issue Pension Plans
The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 set the stage for contractors needing to have pension plans so they can work on any federal government construction project or federal assisted construction project. The Davis-Bacon Act requires any contractor or subcontractor performing work on a federal government construction project or federally assisted construction project over $2,000, to pay their workers on-site not less than the local prevailing wages and fringe benefits paid on similar projects as determined by the Secretary of Labor. Pension plans would fall under the definition of fringe benefits.
Pensions can be difficult to find in the private sector with only 21 percent of all private-sector workers being offered traditional pension in 2007. There is a direct correlation with the larger the companies who employ more workers have a higher the percent of offering traditional pension plans. Some small employers band together to form large multiemployer pension arrangements. A Union card could be your ticket to retirement in the private sector. The need for Multiemployer Pension Plans is here and Legislation can affect those plans.
There are a number of Legislative issues being discussed about multiemployer pension plans. The National Issues Conference - Campaign for Quality Construction was co-sponsored by SMACNA, FCA, ICE, MCAA, NEA, and NECA. The conference guest speaker talked about an opportunity to begin an education process with lawmakers on how union contractors work and remain competitive in the private and public sectors while not burdening the federal government. There is a need for educating what is out there and what is needed. There is also a need for pension relief as the economy has slumped in the past years. Multi-employer Pension Reform has been at the forefront of legislative concerns for the past 5 years on QCA National Issues Conference Issue Sheets.
SMACNA has the first construction industry trade association with a full time office on Capitol Hill. They are playing an active role in shaping legislation affecting the sheet metal industry which affects the construction industry. They have a number of Pension Funding relief initiatives and talking points.
Resources, Learn more about Prevailing Wage and Pensions at Davis Bacon.org.