AGC Composite Pension Plan Update

Source: Stephen Sandherr, AGC of America

Recently, AGC participated in a media rollout of the Give Retirement Options to Workers (GROW) Act with the future bill sponsors, the NCCMP and NABTU. The GROW Act is more commonly known as composite plans and has long been an AGC priority. Below are several media stories:

Sandherr/McGarvey OpEd The time is now to ensure multiemployer pension plan security, January 9, 2018 The Hill
Bill Meant to Stabilize Union Pensions on Way in House January 9, 2018 BNA (subscription required)
Lawmakers Working to Overhaul Pension Rules, January 9, 2018 The Washington Free Beacon
Roe, Norcross Unveil Bipartisan Plan to Give Retirement Options to Workers, January 9, 2018 Press Release
The legislation could be formally introduced soon and AGC is calling on members to send letters of support to their legislators by the AGC Legislative Action Center.

Additional Background:

AGC continues to work with Congress, the Building Trades and other stakeholders in the authorization of composite plans. AGC has long viewed the plan design as being comprised of the best features of defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans. These composite plans would offer voluntary options to share risks to provide funding stability, provide lifetime income to participants and limit employer obligations to negotiated contributions only.

Composite plans were was initially proposed in the NCCMPs Solutions not Bailouts but were not included in the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). Since that time AGC has led efforts to advance composite plans.

Efforts are also underway to refine proposals to save distressed plans where MPRA is not an option (including but not limited to Central States). We are working to provide credible and realistic solutions to the solvency problems of these plans which will not increase the long-term financial exposure for non-distressed plans in the multiemployer system.

More information can be found on the campaign website: Save Our Futures

AGC Recommends U.S. DOT Regulatory Reforms

Source: AGC Highway Facts Bulletin

On July 24, AGC submitted more than 50 pages worth of regulatory reform recommendations to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) in response to the department’s request for comment. In this comprehensive document, AGC put forth recommendations for improving the highway work zone safety, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandate on electronic logging devices, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, and the federal environmental review and permitting processes, among other things. AGC also recommended that U.S. DOT eliminate its local hire pilot program and rescind the outstanding proposed rule for such a program.

This AGC submission comes on the heels of U.S. DOT putting forth its 2017 regulatory plan last week. As part of the semi-annual Unified Regulatory and Deregulatory Agenda, U.S. DOT revealed that it has not yet determined the next action on the Obama administration’s proposed regulation on local hiring requirements. In response, AGC was once again successful in pushing Congress to include a provision in annual spending legislation that—when signed into law—would restrict the use of local hire requirements on highway and transit projects that have federal funding.

Additionally, the U.S. DOT terminated a highway work zone safety rulemaking—mandated by statute under MAP-21—that would have ensured that positive protection measures and temporary longitudinal traffic barriers would be used in work zones in certain situations. The department, however, did indicate its intent to follow through on a rulemaking to establish a pilot program authorizing five states to conduct environmental reviews and make approvals for projects under state environmental laws and regulations, rather than through the National Environmental Policy Act.

Bowen Engineering Receives National Recognition

The Alliant Build America Awards highlight the nation’s most significant construction projects, and last week ICI member Bowen Engineering Corporation received recognition in this year’s Utility Infrastructure Renovation category.

“I’m thrilled for Bob, and everyone at Bowen Engineering. This recognition shines a national spotlight on an Indiana company that has been a dedicated supporter of AGC of America for decades. Congratulations!” said ICI President Richard Hedgecock.

A panel of judges, representing all areas of construction, evaluated an impressive number of submissions this year, assessing each project’s complexity, use of innovative construction techniques and client satisfaction, among other criteria. The awards, which were announced on March 9 during the AGC of America’s annual convention in Las Vegas, are considered by many to be the most prestigious recognition of construction accomplishments in the U.S.

“The Alliant Build America Award recipients inspire and propel the construction industry; building exceptional projects, shaping America’s future and creating opportunity within our communities,” said Peter Arkley, Senior Managing Director, Alliant Insurance Services. “We congratulate this year’s winners as well as all of the other nominees for their commitment to excellence.”

AGC also released a new report analyzing the elements that made the winning projects so successful. The report found that the successful contractors are using new technology, sophisticated scheduling and innovative collaborative techniques to cope with difficult construction environments, tight timelines and lean budgets. The association is distributing the report to its members so other firms can benefit from the lessons these projects and their contractors have to offer.

View all the Alliant Build America Award winners. You can find Bowen Engineering’s award-winning work on Pages 6 and 21.
View pictures of Build America winners.

Congress Votes to Repeal Blacklisting Rule

Source: AGC of America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:  Brian Turmail  (703) 459-0238; turmailb@agc.org

Monday, March 6, 2017

CONGRESSIONAL REPEAL OF BLACKLISTING RULE PROTECTS THE INTEGRITY AND FAIRNESS OF THE FEDERAL CONTRACTING PROCESS, CONSTRUCTION OFFICIAL SAYS

Congressional Review Act Measure Repealing the Obama Administration’s So-Called “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Rule Protects Innocent Firms from Being Debarred by Unsubstantiated Allegations

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to passage tonight of a Congressional Review Act measure repealing the Obama Administration’s so-called “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule:

“Congress has wisely voted to preserve the integrity and fairness of the federal contracting process by voting to repeal former President Obama’s blacklisting rule.  This measure, the so-called Fair Pay and Safety Workplaces rule, would have allowed government officials to debar, or blacklist, construction companies from bidding on federal projects based on the mere allegation of labor law violations without any due process.

“To be clear, there should be no place in federal contracting for unsafe or unscrupulous firms.  Yet the former President’s measure did nothing to reform or improve the existing suspension and debarment process.  Instead, it created a new layer of bureaucracy that would have given federal officials broad discretion to punish construction firms based on any number of unsubstantiated allegations without establishing a process for those firms to defend themselves.  That is why the Associated General Contractors worked so aggressively to push for passage of today’s repeal measure.

“We urge President Trump to sign this measure into law as quickly as possible.”

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