March 20, 2023


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WGA Leaders Seek Different Contributions of Studios for Pension Planning – Different

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Leaders of the Writers Guild of America are looking for significant rates from studios contributing to the pension plan in the talks that began this week.

“Now, we need to secure additional funds from our employers to keep our pension plans in a strong financial position in the future and to preserve the pension benefits of future retirees due to the market downturn,” the WGA negotiating committee said in a message sent to members on Thursday.

Motion picture and television producers and representatives of the WGA alliance face the expiration of the current film and TV contract on June 30. The two start dates are being discussed remotely due to the coronavirus epidemic after being vacated.

The WGA noted that the 201 agreement agreement – which included a vote to approve a strike – addressed a huge potential deficit in its health plan. It was sent to members a day after the guild detailed its goals for raising script fees.

Read the full memo below:

“In 2017, a few years after the cost of healthcare surpassed inflation, we needed more money for our health plan. At the time, our plan was to drive a 80 million deficit by 2012. We have used our combined strength, including the vote to approve the strike, to increase the contribution rate of lifetime employers from .5.5% to 11.5% in the 2017 MBA. Today our health plan is grounded; We’ve spread the surplus over the last three years, and increased the number of months our health plan preserves.

Now, we need to secure additional funds from our employers to keep our pension plan in a strong financial position for this market downturn and to preserve the pension benefits of future retirees. Currently, our employers are contributing to the plan to contribute 8.5% of our compensation, which is about $ 1.0 million per year. Although our pension plan has been designed to provide benefits for decades, federal laws impose a short-term focus on investment returns that could threaten our benefits. In 200 In, Congress passed the Pension Protection Act (PPA), which added new requirements to pension plans like ours, which we need to change quickly in response to a short-term reduction in investment returns. Due to this law and the long-term effects of the 2008 market crash, a severe adequate market downturn could force us to reduce our future benefits.

Increasing employer contribution rates is not enough. We need to raise the caps substantially for the contribution of long-term TV screenwriters and writers. Team members should receive a full contribution to their work as individuals, not in reduced amounts, because they have been hired as a team. We need to increase the type of compensation and remuneration subject to the contribution of benefits. Most TV remnants generate contributions to pension plans and health funds, but this is not the case with streaming remnants. Since streaming reuse is changing TV again, the remnants of streaming need to make contributions to our benefit funds. We need to change now that streaming remnants eventually put additional financial pressure on both pension and health funds before replacing other remnants.

Our pension plan is an important source of long-term financial security for middle-class writers and the writers who came before us fought hard to achieve the benefit. . “

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