The following is the complete statement from the Equity-league Health Trust Fund, attributed to its trustees, in response to questions from Broadway Journal. A spokesman emailed it in August.
“The Trustees of the Equity-League Health Fund take their fiduciary responsibilities very seriously, which includes serving as prudent stewards of the Fund’s finances. Multiemployer health funds typically do not take on much risk in their investments, and that includes the Equity-League Health Fund. We make investment decisions in consultation with professional advisors, based on circumstances at the time.
“Our most important goal is to take the steps necessary so that the Fund is able to pay out health benefits earned by participants. In 2020, we faced a near-total loss of contributions caused by the pandemic-related shutdown of the theatre industry. It was unclear how long this shutdown would last, and projections showed that the Fund would run out of money to pay health benefits by the end of 2021. We determined that it would be responsible to safeguard our remaining assets from potential investment losses by moving them out of a volatile and uncertain equity market.
“With the resumption of live theatre, we look forward to continuing to provide health benefits far into the future. We are also cognizant of the COVID-19 spikes happening from coast to coast. We will continue to consult with our advisors, act sensibly and responsibly, and put the wellbeing of our participants at the top of our priorities. “