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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

PBGC: A Year in Review

  |   November 18, 2014

With members of Congress, President Gerald R. Ford signed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act(ERISA) of 1974 on Monday, September 2, 1974. ERISA established the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

On Sept. 2, PBGC celebrated its 40th year of protecting pensions. And yesterday, PBGC released its FY 2014 Annual Report, highlighting the agency's accomplishments and areas for improvement. The review period covers Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014.

PBGC's deficit increased to $62 billion in FY 2014, up from $36 billion the year before. The deficit increase is largely driven by the declining financial condition of a few multiemployer plans. The deficit in the multiemployer program grew to $42.4 billion, compared with $8.3 billion last year.  This increase is largely due to the fact that several additional multiemployer plans are now expected to run out of money within the next decade. But the single-employer program's deficit saw an improvement and dropped to $19.3 billion, down from $27.4 billion in 2013.

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Former PBGC Legend Passes

  |   November 7, 2014

William DeHarde

William Matthew DeHarde, who served as PBGC's deputy executive director and chief of staff, died on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 in his home in Arlington, Va., at the age of 81. DeHarde began his career with the federal government in 1961 at the Department of Labor, as a management intern.

In 1975, DeHarde joined PBGC. In the 1990s, executive director Martin Slate, praised DeHarde for his hard work and commitment to retirement security. Slate said, "Bill had been responsible for creating the infrastructure for pension payments and services to workers and retirees and had always operated at the highest level of excellence."De Harde personified his personal motto, "work hard, work smart, have fun" and encouraged his staff to do the same.

DeHarde was a vice-chairman for the Advisory Council to the Federal Retirement Thrift Board, a member of both the Senior Executive Association, and National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. And after retiring in 1994, he volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, promoting the rights of children.     

DeHarde studied at Penn State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in Labor Management Relations.  

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PBGC will pay retirement benefits for nearly 1,400 current and future retirees at White Rose Inc., an independent food wholesaler based in Carteret, N.J.

The agency is stepping in because White Rose plans to sell its assets in bankruptcy and the pension plan will be abandoned. The company's plan, Third Amended and Restated Di Giorgio Retirement Plan, will end as of Oct. 27, 2014.

PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the plan's retirees up to the legal limit of about $59,320 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.

Employees and retirees who are participants in White Rose's plan will continue to receive benefits from the company until PBGC assumes responsibility.

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That's right, National Save for Retirement Week is here!

While we encourage you to save for retirement throughout the entire year, this week is specifically devoted to bringing awareness to the importance of retirement security. And this week, you are encouraged to revisit your personal retirement goals to determine if you are on target to reaching those goals.

Not sure where to begin? No problem! Take advantage of the National Save for Retirement Week webinar series, which covers a variety of topics for all career levels. You can also create a customized retirement savings plan, using retirement calculators, to help you better understand your financial picture.

Don't have much room in your paycheck? Small changes make a big difference, too. Have you ever wondered how much you can save by packing a lunch? Let's just say those lunch trips to your favorite eatery can set you back tremendously over time. So on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, participate in National Pack-A-Sack Lunch Day and see how this small step can make a big change in your financial future.

We hope this information will either help get the retirement conversation started or keep it going. With just a few small steps, you can see big changes in your retirement savings. And when it comes to saving for retirement, remember to dream big.

ReichholdPBGC will pay retirement benefits for more than 4,500 current and future retirees at Reichhold Inc., a manufacturer of resins used for composites, based in Durham, N.C.

The agency is stepping in because the company plans to sell its assets in bankruptcy and the pension plan will be abandoned. The Reichhold Inc. Retirement Plan will end as of Oct. 17, 2014.

PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the plan's retirees up to the legal limit of about $59,320 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.

Employees and retirees who are participants in the Reichhold plan will continue to receive benefits from the company until PBGC assumes responsibility.

According to PBGC estimates, the plan is 70 percent funded with $228 million in assets to pay $325 million in benefit liabilities. The agency is expected to cover $90 million of the $97 million shortfall.

On Sept. 30, 2014, Reichhold and three of its affiliates sought Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The company said in court papers that financiers Third Avenue Management, Black Diamond Capital Management, and J.P. Morgan Chase, which hold Reichhold's senior secured notes, intend to be the lead bidders for Reichhold's assets. An auction, sale hearing, and closing are slated for Dec. 19, 2014; Dec. 22, 2014; and January 30, 2015, respectively.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, on September 15, we celebrate the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month. During this celebration, which runs through October 15, we recognize the significant impact Hispanic and Latino Americans have had on American history. We celebrate their rich culture and countless achievements. And this year's theme, "Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success," reminds us of their profound impact on American culture. 

In his proclamation, President Obama said our Nation is strengthened when we lift up the Hispanic community. He also said when we create more ladders of opportunity, we provide hope for all Americans to reach their greatest potential.

But when looking at retirement preparedness, Hispanic Americans are often lower on the ladder than the general population.

Although many Americans face difficulty planning for retirement, Hispanic Americans face unique challenges that other minority groups do not. Hispanic Americans typically have less access to employer-provided benefits and contribute less on their own. The reason? Greater emphasis is usually placed on short-term financial security, such as eliminating debt. Saving for retirement is simply not a short-term priority.

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