There was a report on the Plan delivered by labor trustees at the IATSE Winter Executive Board Meeting in San Antonio. The news:
* There is $7.5 billion in the Pension and Health Plans, and assets match liabilities so that the MPIPHP is in the "Green Zone" and not running a large deficit.
* Cash inflows have been above 2012's estimates.
* Hourly contributions have remained steady over the last several years, running at 75-78 million hours per year.
* The Active Health Plan has an 18-month cash reserve; the Retiree Health Plan has a 9-month reserve. ...
What all this means is that the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan, started in the 1950s, remains viable and robust in its seventh decade. I get asked from time to time if I think the Plan will still be around forty or fifty years hence, and I always say "The benefits will be there."
That's because A) the Plan is well-managed, B) there are federal backstops for non-government pensions, and I'm not a big believer in everything going to hell in a handcart. The big change in recent years is that, though the contribution hours haven't declined, more of those hours come from low-budget features, reality shows and commercials (also cartoons).
... The overall production picture in the Los Angeles area remains grim — despite double-digit percentage increases in both movie and TV drama shoots in 2013, a study released Tuesday by Film L.A. reveals.
On-location feature film shoots rose 19 percent from 2012 but are still 50 percent below their 1996 peak. And scripted TV drama shoots, next to movies the most economically beneficial for the region, were 39 percent below their 2008 peak despite rising by 16 percent over 2012. ...
But there's one more bit of good news regarding the MPIPHP: The Plan now has, after a year's search, a new CEO in place.