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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

PBGC will pay benefits for 27 current and future retirees of Wrightco Technologies Inc., a for-profit educational center located in Ebensburg, Pa.

The agency stepped in because Wrightco's pension plan is unable to pay retirement benefits.

PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the company's retirees up to the legal limit of almost $56,000 a year for a 65-year-old.

The Wrightco Technologies Inc. Cash Balance Plan will end as of June 28, 2013.

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

PBGC can provide general information now and will be able to answer more detailed questions once we receive the pension plan's records. Participants in Wrightco's plan will be notified by letter after the transfer occurs.

For additional information, please email us at mypension@pbgc.gov or call 1-800-400-7242 (8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday - Friday) (TTY/ASCII: call 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 1-800-400-7242).

Wrightco was founded in 1989 and provides high-tech training in areas such as fiber optics and data communications. After several years of poor financial performance, the company sought Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Johnstown, Pa., on July 18, 2012.

PBGC will pay retirement benefits for nearly 750 current and future retirees of Landmark Medical Center, which operates a 214-bed hospital in Woonsocket, R.I.

The agency stepped in because the medical center can't pay benefits, and the pension plan will be abandoned after Landmark sells all of its assets.

PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the hospital's retirees up to the legal limit of almost $51,750 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.

According to PBGC estimates, as of June 7, 2013 (the plan termination date), the pension plan was about 40 percent funded with $23 million in assets to pay $58 million in benefits. The agency expects to cover $25 million of the $35 million shortfall.

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PBGC will pay retirement benefits for more than 2,400 current and future retirees of KidsPeace Corporation, a private charity dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, families, and communities.

KidsPeace Corporation is headquartered in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania with operations in Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

The agency stepped in because the charity organization can't pay its pension obligations and remain in business.

PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the hospital's retirees up to the legal limit of almost $56,000 per 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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PBGC will pay retirement benefits for more than 830 current and future retirees of Noble Health Systems Inc., which operates Noble Hospital, a 97-bed acute-care hospital in Westfield, Mass.

The agency stepped in because the hospital can't pay its pension obligations and remain in business.

PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the hospital's retirees up to the legal limit of $54,000 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.

According to PBGC estimates, as of April 15, 2011, the pension plan was 61 percent funded with $28 million in assets to pay $46 million in benefits. The agency expects to cover $17.8 million of the $17.9 million shortfall.

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The month of May is declared as Older Americans Month! Sponsored by the U.S. Administration on Aging, this year's theme is "Unleash the Power of Age."

In President Obama's proclamation of this month of recognition, he noted, "As older Americans strive to lift up their neighborhoods, my Administration is working to make sure they get the tools they need to make a difference."

One of those tools that aid older Americans in being able to "unleash the power of age" and thrive after retiring from years of service is the ability to collect the monthly pension check they've earned.

Older Americans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation protects the retirement incomes of more than 44 million American workers. Eighty-five percent of retirees who receive benefits from PBGC receive the full amount of the promised benefit.

That's what makes the work of PBGC important — we're working to preserve pension plans and to make new plans possible for coming generations of older Americans, too.

As the days of the month pass, stay tuned for more from PBGC as we recognize and honor the contributions of older Americans!

In the meantime, we'd like to share a video about how PBGC works to protect pensions.

‘What is a Pension?’

  |   April 17, 2013

PBGC protects pensions. So, what is a pension? To most people, a pension is a retirement arrangement in which your employer promises you a regular payment from the day you retire, for as long as you live. The amount of your pension usually depends on how long you worked for an employer and your salary with that employer. Ask a retiree, "What is a pension?" and they may say,

"A pension is the $400 per month I receive for my many years of service at Acme Widgets. My pension helps to supplement the $600 per month I receive from Social Security and my retirement savings."

Normally, employees must work for an employer for a certain time period before the benefits they have earned belong to them. After they have done so, they are considered "vested" in those benefits. Today, in some pension plans, you are fully vested after five years on the job. In others, it takes you seven years to become fully vested - but you become vested in increasing portions of your benefit starting at three years. If you've worked for more than one company long enough to become vested in multiple pension plans, you can receive more than one pension payment.

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