Thank you for visiting the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) website. You are accessing a computer system operated by PBGC, a wholly-owned corporation of the United States Government. PBGC is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals using our website. As a general rule, PBGC does not collect personal identifying information during a visit to the PBGC website, except when you choose to provide such information to us, or when you use one of PBGC's online customer self-service applications. PBGC does collect certain non-personal information for system management and site security purposes.
Non-Personal Information We Collect
As part of system management, PBGC uses various software tools and computing methods to insure this site is operating in an optimum manner and to identify what information is of the most and least interest to its users. We do not collect or sell information about you for commercial purposes. Among the information that currently is collected by PBGC for system management are:
- The name of the domain from which you access the Internet;
- The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The Internet address of the website from which linked directly to our site; and,
- The pages and files you access on this site.
Please note that none of this information identifies you personally in any way.
For security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, PBGC also employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. No attempts are made to identify individual users unless that user chooses to submit personal information, or illegal behavior is suspected. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996, or other such laws as may apply.
Cookies are small datafiles sent to your computer by Web sites you visit. Cookies store information about the type of computer you use to access the Web site. There are two types of cookies: session and persistent. Session cookies expire once the user closes the browser. Persistent cookies, however, remain on your system for an extended period of time.
PBGC uses both session cookies and persistent cookies. It does not use either type of cookie to track, collect, or store personally identifiable information.
The PBGC websites including its online services for workers and retirees (MyPBA) and for practitioners (My PAA and e-4010) use session cookies to recognize registered users and assist them in navigating the applications in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
We use persistent cookies to enable third-party companies to differentiate between new and returning visitors to our online resources. Information about your use of the site is anonymously tabulated with information collected from other visitors. This helps PBGC understand how visitors use its website and make improvements to the website. The information will be used only by PBGC. PBGC maintains a list of third-party companies involved with the PBGC website.
PBGC cookies do not track your activity at other websites. Your computer accepts and holds persistent cookies between visits to PBGC.gov until they expire after two years. Your computer's acceptance of persistent cookies also blocks some repeated invitations to answer survey questions. The persistent cookie that blocks repeated survey invitations expires in not more than 180 days.
The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of persistent cookies as "Usage Tier 2—Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII)." The policy says, "This tier encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected."
You do not have to accept all cookies from us, but if you choose not to, some of the functions on our sites may not be available to you. However, if you have questions or comments, or would like to contact PBGC without using PBGC’s online services, you can call the Customer Contact Center at 1-800-400-7242 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Instructions for opting out of the use of persistent cookies can be found at http//www.usa.gov/optout_instructions.shtml. Opting-out does not affect users’ ability to access comparable information or services from PBGC. To comment on the usability of the PBGC website, you may send e-mail to the PBGC Webmaster: email@example.com.
Personal Identifying and Other Information That You Submit To PBGC Online Services
PBGC receives and stores personal identifying and other information submitted by you when you register and use PBGC's online services for workers and retirees (MyPBA) and for practitioners (My PAA and e-4010). The information you submit will be used only for the purposes described at the point of collection and as detailed in any applicable Privacy Act notice. For example, information you submit may be used to establish your account, respond to your requests, and to provide you with information about your interactions with PBGC. The security of the information is protected during transmission using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypting software. PBGC may use the email address you submit to contact you regarding your account status (including confirmation of registration) or for other purposes such as to notify you about major changes to the Web site or to request feedback.
Storage of Information
To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the appropriate use of information, PBGC has put in place physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to protect the personal identifying and other information collected online. PBGC will keep a log of all transactions and data that you submit in order to (1) provide efficient customer service; (2) to provide adequate audit records, and (3) to process your data transactions or requests. Your information will be maintained and managed in accordance with the Federal Records Act. PBGC may disclose information you submit if we are required to do so by law or we in good faith believe that such action is necessary to: (1) comply with the law or with legal process; (2) protect and defend our rights and property; (3) protect against misuse or unauthorized use of e-4010; or (4) protect the personal safety or property of our users or the public. If you provide false information, attempt to pose as someone else, or otherwise are believed to have committed any other illegal act, information about you may be disclosed as part of any investigation into your actions.
If you choose to contact PBGC via electronic mail outside PBGC's secure online service applications, the information you send still will be used only for the purposes described at the point of collection and as detailed in the applicable Privacy Act notice. However due to the nature of the Internet and the World Wide Web, we cannot assure the security of the information during transmission by electronic mail over the public Internet. Thus, you may be uncomfortable with sending sensitive information (social security number, bank account number, your home phone number or address) to PBGC other than through the secure online service applications. As an alternative, we suggest that you (1) contact PBGC by telephone or (2) send the information to PBGC by regular mail. See Contact Information under www.pbgc.gov for appropriate addresses and telephone numbers.
This policy was last reviewed on 08/12/2011. The results of this review are posted at http://www.pbgc.gov/open.