WASHINGTON — More than 194 specialty contractors, including 70-plus Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) contractors, recently joined forces with four construction associations in Washington, D.C., for the recent Construction Employers of America (CEA) National Issues Conference.

Contractors visited the law offices of Hogan Lovells, where they learned about the current political climate on pension reform, health care, and regulatory issues, before engaging with lawmakers through more than 150 visits on Capitol Hill.

On the first day, contractors discussed such regulatory issues as pension reform and the impact of health care changes.

“This is about stabilizing the system going forward,” noted Cary Franklin, managing consultant and actuary, Horizon Actuarial Services, of pension reform.

Congress did not deal with the multiemployer plans issue during the last Congress, and it is imperative SMACNA contractors keep the issue in play, which is why it was on the conference agenda again this year.

“There are alternatives under current law that can accomplish a lot of the same things as composite plans—variable annuity plans,” said Joshua Shapiro, senior actuarial advisor, Groom Law Group. “The idea is simply that benefit levels in the past and future are tied to the performance of your plan’s assets. You can adjust benefits based on what the level of return can provide and, each year, if interest is different, you can adjust the benefits up or down, depending. The variable annuity model should be on the forefront of people’s minds as we go forward in the future.”

Publication date: 7/12/2017

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!