Skip to main content

About PBGC

PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

Weekly Pension News Round-Up

  |   August 10, 2012

Here's what made headlines this week in pension news:

The New York Post writes about "Vanishing Pensions."  

DB Plans See Large Decline in Funded Status, PLANSPONSOR.com  reports.  

"More and more retirees could soon be facing the choice of accepting a pension buyout or collecting a monthly check...," the Wall Street Journal publishes.

Reuters features an article on "How to find a lost pension."  

 

One big job for PBGC is to make sure that companies with pension plans finance those plans and PBGC's safety net. The best outcome is always for a company to keep its own pension plans. But when it can't, we also fight in court to recover the money that the company owes for its pensions.

A recent case involved the Daytona Beach, Fla. News-Journal, a newspaper in receivership  meaning that a court ordered the sale of the paper. The business owed PBGC $15 million for pension benefits that the newspaper owed its employees but that PBGC is now paying.

But in court, another creditor made a claim for an amount greater than the value of the entire business, based on its former ownership of the company. A Florida court gave that claim priority  leaving PBGC and others out in the cold.

A PBGC staff attorney researched Florida law and found that the court had made an error. With that information PBGC successfully appealed the ruling. Florida law says that claims arising from debt get priority over claims arising from ownership. The appeal kept PBGC's claim alive and may yet enable PBGC to collect significant funds from the newspaper.

"The decision supports the general rule that debt comes before equity," said Chief Counsel Izzy Goldowitz, "so it's an important precedent."

Read the appeals court's full decision. [PDF]

 

A secure retirement is every worker's dream, but successful retirement planning is what makes that dream a reality.  

There are many tools and resources to help make the process a lot simpler and less daunting.

For instance, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has a great online publication complete with interactive worksheets to help you with the process of retirement planning.

Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning is available online and can also be requested in print.

We hope this resource is helpful!

Name That Blog!

  |   August 2, 2012

After gathering suggestions and polling PBGC employees, we have selected a name for the PBGC Blog! 

Drum roll please... More...

Here's what made headlines this week in pension news:

An Openmarket.org article quotes PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum.

Sycamore, Talbots Say Pension Board Won't Oppose Buyout, Bloomberg publishes.

AccountingWeb gives insight on the question "Are Defined-Benefit Retirement Plans Better for Small Businesses?"

On Wednesday the agency moved to end the Cinram Music Union Pension plan, which has some 280 participants and is about 53 percent funded, according to PBGC estimates.

We took this step because the company that sponsors the plan is about to sell the majority of its assets to a buyer that isn't assuming the pension plan.

The plan's sponsor, Cinram (U.S.) Holding's Inc., is involved in a Chapter 15 case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., while its Toronto-based parent, Cinram International Inc., sought creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in a Canadian court. More...