The little-noticed passage by Congress of relief for multi-employer pension plans as well as President Obama’s signature on the bill on June 25 provide much-needed breathing room for these types of union pension funds. The bill, paired with measures related to Medicare benefits, allows the plans to amortize losses sustained in the stock-market downturn of 2008 over 30 years rather than the previous limit of 15 years. By allowing the longer period of amortization, Congress and the President temporarily remove the possibility that multi-employer plan assets will slip further behind their future liabilities and require even more drastic relief measures.
The former Soviet nation of Kazakhstan is ramping up completion of EXPO 2017—a futuristic megaproject estimated to cost between $3 and $5 billion that will showcase global energy efficiency and boost the host’s global profile
Cover photo by Neelam Mathews in Astana, Kazakhstan