Single-employer and multi-employer pension plans that suffered losses when financial markets plunged in 2008 and 2009 have gained some relief under legislation enacted on June 25. The measure allows multi-employer plans, which affect unionized workers and companies in construction, to spread 2008-2009 investment losses over 30 years, instead of 15 years. The pension provisions moved to enactment when lawmakers shifted them from a stalled package of tax-break extensions to a bill that temporarily halts a cut in Medicare payments to physicians. It was the Medicare-pensions bill that President Obama signed. Meanwhile, the tax “extenders” bill was blocked in the Senate
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.