An employer can contest a withdrawal liability assessment and ultimately prevail. That is the moral of Bulk Transport Corp. v. Teamsters Union No. 142 Pension Fund, No. 23-1563 (7th Cir. Mar. 22, 2024).

Withdrawal Liability Generally

Withdrawal liability is a statutory liability imposed on employers whose obligation to contribute to union pension funds (called multiemployer pension plans) ceases in whole or part. These rules were enacted in 1980 as part of the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (MPPAA). Because MPPAA is a remedial statute, courts have often held that it should be liberally construed in favor of protecting the participants in multiemployer pension plans. Indeed, the statute is dramatically skewed in favor of pension funds and disfavor employers. More…

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Photo of David M. Pixley David M. Pixley

David M. Pixley is a principal in the Cleveland, Ohio office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on employee benefits and ERISA litigation.

David’s practice includes counseling clients on all aspects of employee benefits and ERISA litigation involving single employer and multiemployer…

David M. Pixley is a principal in the Cleveland, Ohio office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on employee benefits and ERISA litigation.

David’s practice includes counseling clients on all aspects of employee benefits and ERISA litigation involving single employer and multiemployer benefit plans.

In addition to his extensive courtroom experience, David routinely advises and counsels clients with regard to employee benefit plan compliance, administration, participant disclosures, reporting and drafting requirements under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, ACA, HIPAA and COBRA. David assists clients in correcting errors under the IRS’ Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System and the DOL’s Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program. He also advises employers and investors on multiemployer benefit plan issues that arise during a corporate restructuring and in the context of M&A transactions.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, David served as outside Fund Counsel to multiemployer pension and welfare plans and has extensive experience with employer withdrawal liability, payroll audits, and delinquent contribution matters. He routinely speaks and writes about the issues facing employers contributing to and exiting multiemployer plans.

At the Ohio State University, he was a member of the Rugby Football Club. After law school, prior to beginning his career as an attorney, David was deployed as a member of the Ohio Army National Guard and awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.