On July 18, 2019, AFM Local 47 John Acosta on behalf of the entire Executive Board sent the following letter to AFM & Employers’ Pension Fund Trustees stressing the importance of considering the input of all musicians who are stakeholders, particularly those currently working and contributing to the Fund.
Dear AFM-EPF Trustees:
We write to you today with urgency as you deliberate and decide on cuts to the future benefits of thousands of participants and present and future retirees. We have no doubt that the decisions that lay before you weigh deeply on the collective conscious of the Board of Trustees, and we are certain that the obligations of your charge will prioritize the fastidious consideration of the impact these decisions will have on the lives of generations of musicians for many, many years to come.
While you consider these monumental decisions, it is our hope that the cuts you may recommend remain fair and equitable so that the least among us will be granted the utmost consideration, while participants who receive a larger benefit may be scaled appropriately. It is fortunate that retirees can expect representation through the legally mandated process under MPRA requiring an appointed Retiree Representative to be apportioned resources to assess and evaluate any restructuring of current and future benefits. However, we see that no one is advocating for those currently in the workplace. These workers need to be able to believe and expect a pension will be waiting for them in their later years.
We urge you to consider all of the participants’ interest as you go forward, and encourage you to solicit feedback from musicians currently working and contributing as you also consider feedback from the Retiree Representative. We hope that the Trustees move forward with transparency and good faith allowing all of the affected communities to provide valuable input prior to making any final decisions.
On behalf of 7,000 members of AFM Local 47 and thousands of retirees and their families, we thank you for your attention and consideration.
John Acosta, President
On behalf of the AFM Local 47 Executive Board
The AFM Pension Fund Trustees have appointed a Retiree Representative, Twin Cities Musicians Union Local 30-73 President Brad Eggen, to establish a committee separate from the pension trustees and whose mandate is to assess the current status of our fund and advocate on behalf of retirees and future pension participants as a restructuring plan is considered.
AFM Local 47 leadership has reached out to Mr. Eggen and requested a meeting here at our Local with the Retiree Representative Committee to allow members an opportunity to hear firsthand what their process will look like when our fund enters “Critical and Declining,” and what we can do to ensure that every available option is exhausted before our precious retirement benefits are cut.
The Local 47 Executive Board takes this issue very seriously and is initiating collaboration with our colleagues across the Federation to improve communication and transparency, provide tools for members who have to reassess their retirement goals, and keep you all up to date on all matters pertinent to the security of your retirement.