EXCLUSIVE: While SAG-AFTRA officials have been touting all the benefits of the union’s proposed new film and TV contract, they’ve remained mum about one key issue: How will the 17% of actors’ earnings that employers pay into the union’s two separate pension and health plans be allocated? It’s a key question because the two plans – the SAG Pension and Health Plan and the AFTRA Health & Retirement Fund – have different eligibility requirements and offer different benefit packages.
Deadline has learned that SAG’s Pension and Health Plan will receive contributions from new one-hour network shows (mostly dramas), new half-hour basic cable shows (mostly sitcoms), and everything new made for syndication, other than shows made for the CW. Contributions on earnings from new TV shows made for new media, pay TV and home video also will go into the SAG plan.
AFTRA’s Health and Retirement fund will receive contributions on earnings from new half-hour network shows (mostly sitcoms) and new one-hour basic cable shows (mostly dramas), all new longform TV shows (such as miniseries and telefilms), and everything made for CW.
All existing shows that are currently contributing to one plan or the other will continue to make contribution to those plans. In other words, there will be no switching of plans, as the deal only affects new shows going forward.
The allocation plan was based on a five-year study of the way the two different pension and health plans had been receiving contributions, which has resulted in a split of 57% of contributions going to the SAG plan and 43% going to the AFTRA plan.
As has always been the case, contributions on actors’ earnings from theatrical motion pictures will continue to go to the SAG plan.
The proposed new contract already has been overwhelmingly approved by the union’s national board of directors and must now be ratified by the union’s membership.