Multiemployer Trustees: Now Recruiting Ethical Team Players With a Good Ear and a Commitment to Learning

By: Brenda Hofmann

The International Foundation’s new report, Multiemployer Trustee Selection and Orientation: 2014 Survey Results, reveals that 93% of trustees find it more difficult to be a trustee today compared with a decade ago. While high, that number probably surprises few given how complex multiemployer plans are and the incredible responsibility that comes with being a trustee.

Today’s trustees cite personal liability, fiduciary liability, the struggle for work-life balance and constantly changing regulations as the top stressors they encounter in their role.


Shedding light on a number of aspects of trusteeship that are not often examined, the comprehensive report breaks down the recruitment, selection, orientation and education of new trustees of collectively bargained plans.

​[Related: Multiemployer Plans: A Guide for New Trustees]

Findings show that:

  • On average, trustees spend about 90 hours per year in service to their funds. (This is on top of their regular jobs since a vast majority of trustees are volunteers.)
  • Good listening skills and solid personal ethics are the most valued skills and personality traits of a good trustee.
  • The average age of a trustee is 52 and more than one-quarter are over the age of 60.
  • About one in five unions has adopted special efforts to recruit women, minorities or different generations.

View the full survey report at

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Plan now to attend the Trustees and Administrators Institutes – New Trustees, February 9-11, 2015 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.