What Martin Sheen’s expert really told the Federal court today about merger and the SAG pension plan

The declaration of actuarial expert Patrick Byrnes on behalf of Martin Sheen et. al was posted online late today here. A closer read indicates important new details that were not included earlier today in The Hollywood Reporter article by Jonathan Handel.

First, as was reported by THR, Byrnes declares that it would be “prudent” of the pension fund trustees to meet BEFORE the merger vote to consider the implications of the potential merger. He states it is “normal” to analyze the implications before the merger takes place.  (The Byrnes declaration only reviews the pension plan issue not the health plan.)

Second, as was reported earlier today in THR, Byrnes recommends that in conducting the analysis several different merger designs be considered.

But THR did not report Byrnes’ conclusion that “if SAG and AFTRA seek to merge the [pension] plans without this level of due diligence, they may create serious impact issues which would be very difficult, if not impossible to correct.”

And THR did not report that Byrnes also noted that the lawyer Feasibility Report that was provided by SAG in its disclosure “does not provide any basis to conclude what will happen when you merge the plans including that future SAG benefits will be safe.” Of course, merging the plans is required to solve the split earnings problem that SAG merger proponents says is a key goal of the merger.

A court hearing on the effort to block the merger vote pending fuller disclosure is scheduled to take place at the end of the month in federal court.