Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal Overview

Multiemployer pension plans in the United States generally cover unionized participants from more than one participating employer. When an employer discontinues participation—or withdraws—from a plan, the employer stops making regular contributions and is generally assessed a withdrawal liability, which is typically paid over time. Because of a variety of statutory and practical limitations, the withdrawal liability actually paid may or may not be sufficient to cover any unfunded liabilities associated with the now-withdrawn employer.

The SOA has received questions as to the prevalence and impact of MEPP employer withdrawals. These articles by SOA staff actuaries Lisa Schilling and Patrick Wiese present analysis of employer withdrawals as reflected in data from Department of Labor Forms 5500.

To access the full reports, click on the links below. If you have any questions about them, please contact Lisa Schilling at

January 2017 Update

December 2015 Overview


The authors and SOA extend special thanks to the individuals who volunteered their time and expertise to support the development of these overviews, including the following actuaries. These articles do not necessarily reflect their views, nor the views of their employers.

  • Christian E. Benjaminson, FSA, EA, FCA, MAAA
  • Bruce Cadenhead, FSA, EA, FCA, MAAA
  • James B. Dexter, FSA, EA, FCA, MAAA
  • Paul B. Dunlap, FSA, EA, FCA, MAAA
  • Eric A. Keener, FSA, EA, FCA, MAAA
  • Lawrence I. Pollack, FSA, EA, MAAA
  • Zenaida M. Samaniego, FSA, EA, MAAA
  • Josh A. Shapiro, FSA, EA, MAAA
  • R. Dale Hall, FSA, CERA, CFA, MAAA, SOA Managing Director of Research
  • Andrew Peterson, FSA, EA, FCA, MAAA, SOA Senior Staff Fellow, Retirement Systems