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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

From Sandy Rich, Chief of Negotiations and Restructuring:

Beechcraft, previously known as Hawker Beechcraft, emerged from bankruptcy February 21. Despite the company's original plan to terminate three pension plans, we at PBGC were able to work with the company, its employees, and company creditors to preserve one of the three plans while providing the safety net of PBGC trusteeship to the two terminated pension plans.

Beechcraft will continue a pension plan that will provide benefits to 8,300 participants. PBGC will provide guaranteed level benefits to the 9,500 beneficiaries of the terminated plans. In addition, PBGC supported a $2.5 million settlement with Beechcraft that will provide salaried retirees additional benefits exceeding those paid by PBGC under rules set by Congress.

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Retiree grabbing envelopes from her mailboxIf you receive a direct deposit payment from PBGC, your funds will be deposited on January 2, 2013, one day after the New Year.  If you receive a paper check, and you have not received your paper check by January 7, call us at 1-800-400-7242 or visit our Contact Us page for other contact options.

Want to receive future payments more quickly? Remember, PBGC offers direct deposit.  It's the most secure and fastest way to receive your payment, and your funds are always available on payday — even if the weather's bad, the post office is closed, or you're out of town.  The future electronic direct deposit dates are already mapped out!

To learn more or sign up for direct deposit, call 1-800-400-7242 or visit MyPBA.

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?"

Pensions Need a Makeover

  |   March 22, 2012

Defined benefit pensions provide lifetime retirement security, but need to be updated for today’s workforce. PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum talked about his ideas at a recent forum sponsored by Institutional Investor magazine. Here’s a March 20 report from the magazine’s Investor Intelligence Network website: More...

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