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Concrete Pipe & Prods. v. Constr. Laborers Pension Trust

Supreme Court of the United States

December 1, 1992, Argued ; June 14, 1993, Decided

No. 91-904

Opinion

 [*605]  [***553]  [**2270]    JUSTICE SOUTER delivered the opinion of the Court. 2

 Respondent Construction Laborers Pension Trust for Southern California (Plan) is a multiemployer pension trust fund established under a Trust Agreement executed in 1962. Petitioner Concrete Pipe and Products of California, Inc. (Concrete Pipe), is an employer and former contributor to the Plan that withdrew from it and was assessed "withdrawal liability"  [****9]  under provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1301-1461 (1988 ed. and Supp. III), added by the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 (MPPAA), Pub. L. 96-364, 94 Stat. 1208. Concrete Pipe contends that the MPPAA's assessment and arbitration provisions worked to deny it procedural due process. And, although we have upheld the MPPAA against constitutional challenge under the substantive component of the Due Process Clause and the Takings Clause, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation v. R. A. Gray & Co., 467 U.S. 717, 81 L. Ed. 2d 601, 104 S. Ct. 2709 (1984); Connolly v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 475 U.S. 211, 89 L. Ed. 2d 166, 106 S. Ct. 1018 (1986), Concrete Pipe contends that, as applied to it, the MPPAA violates these provisions as well.  [**2271]  We see merit in none of Concrete Pipe's contentions.

A pension plan like the one in issue, to which more than one employer contributes, is characteristically maintained to fulfill the terms of collective-bargaining agreements. The contributions made by employers participating in such a multiemployer [****10]  plan are pooled in a general fund available to pay any benefit obligation of the plan. To receive benefits, an  [*606]  employee participating in such a plan need not work for one employer for any particular continuous period. Because service credit is portable, employees of an employer participating in the plan may receive such credit for any work done for any participating employer. An employee obtains a vested right to secure benefits upon retirement after accruing a certain length of service for participating employers; benefits vest under the Plan in this case when an employee accumulates 10 essentially continuous years of credit. See Brief for Petitioner 28.

Multiemployer plans like the one before us have features that are beneficial in industries where

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508 U.S. 602 *; 113 S. Ct. 2264 **; 124 L. Ed. 2d 539 ***; 1993 U.S. LEXIS 4053 ****; 61 U.S.L.W. 4611; 93 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4339; 93 Daily Journal DAR 7461; 16 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 2265; 7 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 423

CONCRETE PIPE AND PRODUCTS OF CALIFORNIA, INC., PETITIONER v. CONSTRUCTION LABORERS PENSION TRUST FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Prior History:  [****1]  ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.

Disposition: 936 F. 2d 576, affirmed.

CORE TERMS

Concrete, Pipe, withdrawal, arbitrator, actuarial, sponsor, pension, vested, multiemployer, preponderance, unfunded, bias, calculation, joined, termination, collective-bargaining, contesting, incoherence, aggregate, plant, retroactive, fiduciary, deprived, contractors', contingent, factfinder, persuasion, deference, notice, anticipated

Pensions & Benefits Law, Employee Benefit Plans, Pension Benefit Plans, Defined Benefit Plans, Defined Contribution Plans, Welfare Benefit Plans, Business & Corporate Compliance, ERISA Pension Plan Qualification Requirements, Participation & Vesting, Vesting Requirements, ERISA, ERISA Effective Dates, General Overview, Multiemployer Plans, Complete Withdrawals, Liability Calculations, Liability for Withdrawals, Tax Law, Sales & Exchanges, Intangible Property, Distributor Agreements & Lease Cancellations, Funding Requirements, Pension Plan Funding, Capital Gains & Losses, Small Business Investment Companies, Pensions & Benefits Law, Collection of Liability, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Administrative Review, Pretrial Matters, Judicial Review, Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Labor Arbitration, Arbitration Coverage Limits, Business & Corporate Law, Agency Relationships, Fiduciaries, Fiduciary Duties, Estate, Gift & Trust Law, Trustees, Duties & Powers, Standards of Care, Governments, Fiduciaries, Trusts, Private Trusts Characteristics, Judicial Officers, Judges, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection, Criminal Law & Procedure, De Novo Review, Administrative Law, Hearings, Right to Hearing, De Novo Review, Agency Adjudication, Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Discovery & Disclosure, Discovery, Subpoenas, International Trade Law, Dispute Resolution, International Commercial Arbitration, Arbitrators, Authority, Legislation, Interpretation, Plan Amendments, Substantive Due Process, Scope, Participation & Vesting, Employer Liability, Third Party Insurers, Federal Government, US Congress, Bill of Rights, Eminent Domain & Takings