Musicians’ union proposes pension cuts

Rank-and-file US musicians, few of whom enjoy income commensurate with their education and job-related expenses, are now facing the prospect of cuts in their retirement income.

The American Federation of Musicians, the union representing more than 50,000 musicians, has notified members that its pension fund has about $1.8 billion in assets and $3 billion in commitments to future pension payments. The AFM has petitioned the US Treasury Department to reduce pension levels to all but the oldest beneficiaries.

“We faced two challenging options – to allow the plan to run out of money within 20 years or try to prevent that from happening by applying to the government for approval to reduce earned benefits,” AFM pension officials told its members.

If the union’s pension plan “did nothing and ran out of money, the federal government’s insurer, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, would likely step in and pay retirees even less than the new proposal calls for,” The New York Times’ Michael Cooper reports:

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