ArcBest Corporation (ARCB) FORM 10-Q | Quarterly Report 11-8-16

Discussion in 'ABF Freight System' started by Freightmaster1, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. Freightmaster1

    Freightmaster1 Well-Known Member

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    Check this out from one of the Central States Pension Fund employers who is paying the "full boat" pension contribution rate of $342.00 per week! You can bet they'll be at the bargaining table next year to ask for some "relief"?!

    Multiemployer Plans

    ABF Freight contributes to multiemployer pension and health and welfare plans, which have been established pursuant to the Taft-Hartley Act, to provide benefits for its contractual employees. ABF Freight’s contributions generally are based on the time worked by its contractual employees, in accordance with the ABF NMFA and other related supplemental agreements. ABF Freight recognizes as expense the contractually required contributions for each period and recognizes as a liability any contributions due and unpaid.
    The 25 multiemployer pension plans to which ABF Freight contributes vary greatly in size and in funded status. ABF Freight’s contribution obligations to these plans are specified in the ABF NMFA, which was implemented on November 3, 2013 and will remain in effect through March 31, 2018. The funding obligations to the pension plans are intended to satisfy the requirements imposed by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (the “PPA”), which was permanently extended by the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (the “Reform Act”) included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015. Provisions of the Reform Act include, among others, providing qualifying plans the ability to self-correct funding issues, subject to various requirements and restrictions, including applying to the U.S. Department of the Treasury (the “Treasury”) for the reduction of certain accrued benefits. Any actions taken by trustees of multiemployer pension plans under the Reform Act to improve funding will not reduce benefit rates ABF Freight is obligated to pay under the ABF NMFA. Through the term of its current collective bargaining agreement, ABF Freight’s contribution obligations generally will be satisfied by making the specified contributions when due. However, the Company cannot determine with any certainty the contributions that will be required under future collective bargaining agreements for its contractual employees. If ABF Freight was to completely withdraw from certain multiemployer pension plans, under current law, the Company would have material liabilities for its share of the unfunded vested liabilities of each such plan.

    Approximately one half of ABF Freight’s total contributions to multiemployer pension plans are made to the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan (the “Central States Pension Plan”). ABF Freight received an Actuarial Certification of Plan Status for the Central States Pension Plan dated March 30, 2016, in which the plan’s actuary certified that, as of January 1, 2016, the plan is in critical and declining status, as defined by the Reform Act, with the funded percentage projected to be 46.9% as of the January 1, 2016 valuation date. Critical and declining status is applicable to critical status plans that are projected to become insolvent anytime in the current plan year or during the next 14 plan years, or if the plan is projected to become insolvent within the next 19 plan years and either the plan’s ratio of inactive participants to active participants exceeds two to one or the plan’s funded percentage is less than 80%.

    In September 2015, the Central States Pension Plan filed an application with the Treasury seeking approval under the Reform Act for a pension rescue plan, which included benefit reductions for participants of the Central States Pension Plan in an attempt to avoid the insolvency of the plan that otherwise is projected by the plan to occur. In May 2016, the Treasury denied the Central States Pension Plan’s proposed rescue plan. The trustees of the Central States Pension Plan subsequently announced that a new rescue plan would not be submitted and stated that it is not possible to develop and implement a new rescue plan that complies with the final Reform Act regulations issued by the Treasury on April 26, 2016. Although the future of the Central States Pension Plan is impacted by a number of factors, without legislative action, the plan is currently projected to become insolvent within 10 years or less. ABF Freight’s current collective bargaining agreement with the IBT provides for contributions to the Central States Pension Plan through March 31, 2018, and it is ABF Freight’s understanding that its contribution rate is not expected to increase during this period. ABF Freight’s contribution rates are made in accordance with its collective bargaining agreements with the IBT and other related supplemental agreements. In consideration of high multiemployer contribution rates, several of the plans in addition to the Central States Pension Plan have frozen contribution rates at current levels under ABF Freight’s current collective bargaining agreement. Future contribution rates will be determined through the negotiation process for contract periods following the term of the current collective bargaining agreement. ABF Freight pays some of the highest benefit contribution rates in the industry and continues to address the effect of ABF Freight’s wage and benefit cost structure on its operating results in discussions with the IBT.

    As previously disclosed in the Company’s 2015 Form 10-K, ABF Freight received a Notice of Insolvency from the Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund (the “707 Pension Fund”) for the plan year beginning February 1, 2016. During the second quarter of 2016, the 707 Pension Fund received notice that the Treasury denied its proposal to reduce participant benefits in an effort to remain solvent. Approximately 1% of ABF Freight’s total multiemployer pension contributions are made to the 707 Pension Fund. Based on currently available information, it is the Company’s understanding that if the 707 Pension Fund becomes insolvent, ABF Freight’s benefit contribution rates under the ABF NMFA will be frozen and ABF Freight will be required to continue making contributions at the frozen rate throughout and after the current ABF NMFA contract period, which extends to March 31, 2018; however, there can be no assurance in this regard.

    The multiemployer plan administrators have provided to the Company no other significant changes in information related to multiemployer plans from the information disclosed in the Company’s 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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