AP sources: Congress weighs allowing cuts in multiemployer pension plans to avert bankruptcies

WASHINGTON – Congressional officials say key lawmakers are considering a change to allow multiemployer pension plans to cut benefits for current retirees in hopes of avoiding future bankruptcies.

The officials say any agreement will likely pass Congress in the next few days as part of a funding measure to keep the government operating normally past midnight on Thursday.

Officials said the changes would be permitted at severely distressed multiemployer plans that are on track to fail, and whose failure would pose a risk to the solvency of the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. About 1 million retirees are potentially affected.

The PBGC website says multiemployer plans result from collective bargaining between a labour union and more than one company.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because no agreement has been reached.