The Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans (MPIPHP) recently announced a substantial effort to assist unemployed film industry workers amid prolonged strikes.
The MPIPHP will extend health insurance eligibility to individuals who would not have otherwise met the requisite hours to qualify for this employee benefit.
To qualify for health insurance, one must work at least 400 hours in a six-month period. Recognizing the difficulties that many are experiencing due to the ongoing strikes, MPIPHP is extending this benefit to those who have fallen short of these criteria.
The MPIPHP will allow members to make a one-time “hardship withdrawal” from their defined-contribution retirement plans, with a cap of 20% of the amount and up to a maximum of $20,000. This move is reminiscent of steps taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Impacts to MPIPHP
The strikes have impacted MPIPHP funds significantly. Members worked 18 million fewer hours through mid-July than in the same period in 2022, resulting in a more than $200 million decrease in contributions.
Organizations such as the Entertainment Community Fund and the Motion Picture & Television Fund directed members who lost health care to COBRA and the Covered California plans. The Writers Guild of America went on strike on May 2, and SAG-AFTRA followed with a strike on July 14 which shut down most TV and film production.
Learn More About Employee Benefits
Considering these recent developments in the film industry, it’s clear that understanding employee benefits is crucial for both employers and employees. To learn more about the intricacies of employee benefits, we recommend taking the Introduction to Employee Benefits Series. This comprehensive series provides valuable insights into the various aspects of employee benefits, helping you navigate the complexities of health insurance, retirement plans, and more.