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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

We've Got Them Covered

  |   March 15, 2012

Since 1872, Christ Hospital has provided health care services to Hudson County, N.J. Like many hospitals around the country during the recent financial downturn, Christ Hospital saw growing numbers of uninsured and charity patients come through its doors. People got the care they needed, but at the expense of the hospital’s bottom line. Finally, mounting financial losses, combined with state budget cuts and other reverses, forced the hospital to seek bankruptcy protection.

Fortunately, the hospital will continue to serve the community under a new owner. But what about the pensions of the 2,500 caregivers and other staff? Well, PBGC has got them covered. More...

Retirement Realities, 2012

  |   March 14, 2012

Each year the folks at the Employee Benefit Research Institute gather data on retirement across the whole country. EBRI’s 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey tells the story of retirement security today.

For instance, only 14 percent of Americans feel “very confident” they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. Sixty percent of households have less than $25,000 in savings.

The survey also shows more people expect to work longer: 37 percent expect to retire after age 65, up from 11 percent in 1991. But those plans don’t always work out: Half the retirees surveyed had to leave work earlier than expected due to health problems or downsizing.

For the complete survey, and a lot more information on retirement issues, go to www.ebri.org.

It’s time to face retirement realities, PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum writes in the March 11 issue of Long Island’s Newsday.

People will need to save more for longer retirements, but that’s not enough. Gotbaum calls for new pension options that share responsibility between employers and employees.

Read Don't ignore retirement insecurity.

Follow us on Twitter

  |   March 8, 2012

See the string of messages on the right side of this blog page? That’s PBGC’s Twitter feed.

We use Twitter to spotlight our day-to-day efforts to protect pensions. When you sign up, you’ll get quick bits of information to keep you in the know about PBGC. And each day you’ll learn a new fact about pensions and retirement security. More...

Today marked a big victory for American Airlines’ workers and retirees. American has reversed course and decided to keep the pension plans of its non-pilot employees. The pension plans will be frozen, which means that workers won’t earn additional benefits going forward. But they’ll get every dime of the benefits they’ve already earned. When companies terminate plans, many people see pension cuts because of legal limits on the amount PBGC is allowed to pay. Here’s what PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum had to say: “It is great progress and good news that American recognizes it can reorganize successfully and preserve its employees’ pension plans. We’re also glad the company is willing to work with us to preserve their pilot plan too.”

PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum addresses National Institute on Retirement Security.Great news: Americans are living longer. Unfortunately pensions haven’t kept up, and people are rightly worried about retirement. PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum today told a National Institute on Retirement Security conference in Washington, D.C., that new types of defined benefit pensions can help solve the problem of retirement insecurity. Plan designs that marry the best features of DBs and 401(k)s offer lifelong income without forcing retirees to be investment experts. Flexibility is key, Gotbaum said. “One size doesn’t fit all. We in government can do everything in our power to facilitate new plans and eliminate regulatory requirements that burden employers without helping workers and retirees.”