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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

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  |   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.”

On February 1, 2012, American Airlines announced it would seek to terminate all four of its pension plans.  But the law is clear:  If the company wants to end the plans, it must prove its case. 

Here’s a fact sheet that clears up some big misconceptions: http://www.pbgc.gov/wr/other/pg/american-airlines-pensions--get-the-facts.html

Here’s a Chicago Tribune story based on an interview with PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum:  Pension insurer doubts need of American Airlines parent to terminate defined benefit plans

Welcome to our Blog

  |   March 6, 2012

Thanks for visiting PBGC’s brand-new blog.

First, we know some of you are asking: Why does PBGC need a blog?

Well, our mission is to protect pensions, and we’re proud of the job we do.

Elsewhere on this website you’ll find tons of information about all aspects of the agency’s work. Important information—often technical, sometimes complicated.

But on this blog, we want to keep it simple.

Here, our communications team will tell PBGC’s story in a conversational way, zeroing in on how we protect retirement security.

We’ll tell you how we work with employers and employees to preserve pension plans. How we make sure retirees get their pensions when companies can’t keep their promises. How we promote our mission to strengthen retirement security.

In addition, we’ll link to the most relevant facts, figures, news stories, and videos about the world of pensions and retirement security. And from time to time we’ll show you the human side of PBGC, by sharing the observations of Director Josh Gotbaum, our in-house pension experts and other members of our staff.

So, welcome, and let’s get down to business.