PBGC's FY2012 Annual Report, released today, gives insight on the work we've been doing here at the agency. The roughly 120 page report covers the period that ended September 30, 2012.
The report kicks off with messages from the PBGC Board Chair, Hilda L. Solis and PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum, and highlights our great scores in customer service.
Retirees who rely on PBGC for their pension benefits rate the agency as one of the best in government.
We received a score of 89 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). That's more than 20 points above the government average (a score of 80 or higher is considered excellent, whether for a government agency or a private business). For retirees, the ease of applying for benefits and the reliability of monthly payments are of high importance, and they gave us high ratings in both categories.
Aside from our stand out customer service, the report also features:
- Our efforts to Preserve Pensions at American Airlines and other companies
- Our Insurance Programs
- Our approach on curbing PBGC's Deficit
In anticipation of the potential for Hurricane Sandy to shut down payment processing centers, the agency started sending checks days ahead of our regular schedule.
About 140,000 benefit payment checks are sent from our offices to benefit payees on a monthly basis. With Hurricane Sandy making a strong impact in our region, there is some risk that delivery of those checks may be delayed.
What we're doing: We're seeking more detail about how far into the distribution process the checks got over the weekend. We're also monitoring the USPS website to assess the impact of Post Office closings to PBGC payees. We will also provide data to the Customer Contact Center (1-800-400-7242) if there are major impacts.
On the other hand, there are no delays for those with direct deposit. We strongly encourage everyone who receives their benefit via check to switch to direct deposit through MyPBA (My Pension Benefit Account). It's timely, safe & secure.
Often times, people don't know what the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is, or what we do. Unfortunately, many find out about us when we have to assume responsibility for their pension plans either by way of company bankruptcy or the company's inability to pay retirement benefits.
A quick history lesson: On September 2, 1974, President Ford signed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), creating a federal pension insurance program and an agency — the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation — to run it. The agency was created to encourage the continuation and maintenance of private-sector defined benefit pension plans, provide timely and uninterrupted payment of pension benefits, and keep pension insurance premiums at a minimum.
Now that you know how we got started, we'd like to tell you a little about how we operate.
As our director Josh Gotbaum likes to put it, PBGC is similar to the FDIC, but instead of protecting depositors of insured banks, we protect pensions.
FACT: We protect the retirement incomes of more than 44 million American workers in more than 27,500 private-sector defined benefit pension plans.
So, what's a defined benefit plan?
FACT: A defined benefit plan provides a specified monthly benefit at retirement, often based on a combination of salary and years of service.
FACT: We are not funded by general tax revenues.
So, how is the revenue generated?
FACT: We collect insurance premiums from employers that sponsor insured pension plans, earn money from investments, and receive funds from pension plans we take over.
Visit our Web site to learn more about who we are and how we operate.