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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

In coming years, more than half of workers and retirees in terminated multiemployer plans will face a reduction in benefits under current PBGC guarantees if their plans run out of money, according to PBGC's Multiemployer Guarantee study (PDF) released earlier today.

This study takes a closer look at how the guarantee limits will impact the pension income of workers and retirees in multiemployer plans that will receive financial assistance from PBGC.

In the past, only about 20 percent of workers and retirees saw a reduction in their benefit - typically that loss represented about 10 percent of their promised benefit. This study finds that these losses are both likely to apply to more people and likely to be larger in percentage terms as more multiemployer plans run out of money and require financial assistance from the agency.

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America Saves Week

Welcome to America Saves Week (ASW)! This annual savings drive, which began in 2007, promotes good savings behavior and is the perfect opportunity to assess and reevaluate personal savings goals. ASW is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council and runs from February 23 - February 28.

This year's theme is "Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically." Even if you're already saving, PBGC encourages you to take a look at your overall financial picture and decide whether there's potential to save more or set new savings goals.  After all, when you have a vision of your current financial picture, you can be more proactive in setting yourself up for future financial success.

So take the America Saves pledge today, and make a commitment to your financial future. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for daily updates during ASW!

Happy Saving!

For informational purposes only, this PBGC communication may contain links to websites not affiliated with the United States Government.  Links to these websites do not constitute an endorsement or approval by PBGC or any of its employees regarding the information, service, product, or provider presented on the website. PBGC cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by such websites.  Please see PBGC's full disclaimer here.

PBGC to Pay Benefits at Hovensa

  |   February 4, 2015

PBGC will pay retirement benefits for more than 1,600 current and future retirees at Hovensa LLC, which owns an oil refinery and oil storage terminal in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The agency is stepping in because Hovensa plans to close its operations and the pension plan will be abandoned. The Hovensa Employees' Pension Plan will end as of Feb. 4, 2015.

PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the plan's retirees up to the legal limit of $60,136 a year for a 65-year-old.

Retirees will continue to get benefits without interruption, and future retirees can apply for benefits as soon as they are eligible.

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Do you receive a benefit from PBGC? If so, all or a portion of your benefit may be taxable. Each year, we report this information to the IRS and send you an IRS Form 1099-R that details the amount you received the previous year.

We'll mail your 2014 Form 1099-R to your address on file by Monday, February 2, 2015. If you don't receive your form soon after February 2, 2015, you may request a duplicate. Here's how:

  • Use our online service, MyPBA, to view and print a copy of your 1099-R tax form for the most recent tax year.
  • Call PBGC's Customer Contact Center to request a form by mail. The number is 1-800-400-7242.

When calling, remember to have your customer ID (PDF) or Social Security number, plan name and case number to help expedite the request.  

While PBGC is required to withhold federal income tax, we do not withhold for state taxes. If your state has an income tax, you may owe tax on your PBGC benefit. To find out more, contact your state tax office.

For additional information, see our Frequently Asked Questions on IRS Form 1099-R.

Last Friday marked the official start of the 2014 holiday shopping season. And today, as many gear up to score "Cyber Monday's" best deals, many Americans are still struggling. And that includes a number of PBGC's customers. That struggle is reflected in the increased number of inquiries we have received about loans or payment increases.

PBGC does not have the authority to make loans. If you are not yet retired, however, you will have several options as to how your benefit can be paid. Options include different benefit levels for your surviving spouse or other beneficiaries. "Your PBGC Benefit Options" provides more information about these options for meeting your financial needs.

While Congress provided for cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security benefits, it did not establish similar measures for PBGC payments. Your benefit amount will not increase with inflation.

We know how important every penny is these days, so know that you can count on PBGC to pay you the maximum amount allowable by law, and that your payment will be made on time every month.

PBGC: A Year in Review

  |   November 18, 2014

With members of Congress, President Gerald R. Ford signed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act(ERISA) of 1974 on Monday, September 2, 1974. ERISA established the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

On Sept. 2, PBGC celebrated its 40th year of protecting pensions. And yesterday, PBGC released its FY 2014 Annual Report, highlighting the agency's accomplishments and areas for improvement. The review period covers Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014.

PBGC's deficit increased to $62 billion in FY 2014, up from $36 billion the year before. The deficit increase is largely driven by the declining financial condition of a few multiemployer plans. The deficit in the multiemployer program grew to $42.4 billion, compared with $8.3 billion last year.  This increase is largely due to the fact that several additional multiemployer plans are now expected to run out of money within the next decade. But the single-employer program's deficit saw an improvement and dropped to $19.3 billion, down from $27.4 billion in 2013.

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