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ASC 715-80 defines a multiemployer plan as a pension or postretirement benefit plan to which two or more unrelated employers contribute, usually pursuant to one or more collective-bargaining agreements. A characteristic of multiemployer plans is that assets contributed by one participating employer may be used to provide benefits to employees of other participating employers since assets contributed by an employer are not segregated in a separate account or restricted to provide benefits only to employees of that employer. A multiemployer plan is usually administered by a board of trustees composed of management and labor representatives and may also be referred to as a “joint trust” or “union plan.” Generally, many employers participate in a multiemployer plan, and an employer may participate in more than one plan. The employers participating in multiemployer plans usually have a common industry bond, but for some plans the employers are in different industries and the labor union may be their only common bond. Some multiemployer plans do not involve a union. For example, local chapters of a not-for-profit entity may participate in a plan established by the related national organization.
A key characteristic of a multiemployer plan is that the plan's obligation to retirees continues even if a former employer discontinues its participation in the plan.
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