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LAWYERS SAY P&H PLANS WON’T BE HARMED BY SAG-AFTRA MERGER

February 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Jonathan Handel

Entertainment industry labor attorney Jonathan Handel says that a study included Tuesday in the AFTRA-SAG merger documents about bringing together the Pension and Health plans of the two unions “could be a game changer.” Noting that in the past plans to merge the two performers unions have come undone by SAG activists who have contended that the merger would dilute their own P&H plan, Handel says in an analysis appearing in the Hollywood Reporter that a feasibility study conducted by attorney Deborah Lerner, who has represented such plans in over two dozen mergers, and a half-dozen other lawyers, concludes that the AFTRA-SAG merger poses no risk of loss of benefits. In fact, the study concludes, mergers of such plans are “beneficial because they strengthen the financial base of the surviving plan, reduce administrative expenses, and permit employees to concentrate their covered work under one benefit structure.”