Pension Fund Trustee Appointment

The U.S. Pension Fund (AFM-EPF) has both Union and Employer Trustees. AFM President Thomas F. Lee has announced that the Employer Trustees have appointed Bill Thomas as an additional Employer Trustee. Mr. Thomas is the Senior Vice President of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Society.
While there is no public announcement from the Employer Trustees yet or from the Pension Fund itself, we always encourage you to check the Pension Fund website often at for new information as it is posted.
In the last 18 months, 3 Employer Trustee vacancies have occurred. Trustees Irving Cheskin and Nicholas Counter both resigned from their positions and Employer Trustee Chair Norman Samnick passed away while still in office. This is the first new appointment of a Trustee by either side during this time.

William Foster, a member of the National Symphony, has served on the AFM Trustee side since late 2003. Orchestral Musicians have long voiced concern that given the large number of orchestral employers who contribute to the Fund, the Fund would also be well served by having a Symphonic Trustee on the Employer side of the Fund.

The AFM had taken the position that it would be inappropriate for the AFM to lobby for any particular mix of Trustees for the Employer side. The AFM decided against being a “bully pulpit” on this issue, saying that advancing this issue should be left up to Orchestral musicians and individual Orchestral Employers.

The U.S. Symphonic Player Conferences rose to this challenge. The International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) and the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) have worked very hard over a long period of time to raise awareness of this issue among their constituent orchestras. We believe this welcome appointment reflects that commitment and dedication. ICSOM and ROPA labored tirelessly on behalf of their colleagues and were unceasing in their lobbying efforts with management to secure the installation of a Symphonic Employer Trustee. We believe this welcome appointment reflects that commitment and dedication.

We congratulate them and join them in welcoming Mr. Thomas as an Employer Trustee. We offer Mr. Thomas our support and best wishes as he brings his expertise to the Fund during this difficult time.