Thousands of DGA retirees and their beneficiaries will be receiving a 13th pension check later this month on top of their regular monthly benefits.
The DGA said that the additional payments were made possible “because the DGA prioritized the long-term health of the pension plan in collective bargaining where it achieved hard-fought pension gains, and because of the Basic Plan’s strong investment returns that greatly exceeded projections.” Trustees of the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans noted that the Basic Plan remains well funded and is in the healthy “Green Zone” as measured by the Pension Protection Act.
“Surprisingly, and contrary to early and mid-year forecasts, the Plans’ investments ended 2020 very well, despite the Covid-19 pandemic – enough for the Board of Trustees to approve a 13th check for retirees and beneficiaries in the Basic Plan,” the trustees said. “During the first months of 2020, as the world became increasingly aware of Covid-19, investment returns across all asset classes predictably reflected the economic stress of worldwide business lockdowns and rapid job losses. As Congress and the Federal Reserve began providing fiscal and monetary support, asset prices began to stabilize, and bonds began to recover.
“During the last quarter of 2020, increased economic activity, the prospect of an effective vaccine program and government stimulus brought significant asset price recovery. The result: Significant 4th quarter price appreciation across several asset classes, resulting in total year-end returns of 12.4% for the Basic Plan, and 11.5% for the Supplemental Plan, which has a lower risk profile due to its shorter investment horizon as compared to the Basic Plan.”
The trustees noted that the additional pension payment is being made “on a one-time, non-precedential basis and is based entirely on the Trustees’ judgment and discretion about the financial condition of the Basic Plan. There is no right – vested, accrued or otherwise – to any additional or similar payment in future months or years.”
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