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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.

More...

Findlay Industries logo

PBGC will pay retirement benefits for more than 1,300 current and future retirees of Findlay Industries.

Based in Findlay, Ohio, Findlay Industries was a privately owned company established in 1959 that once manufactured interior parts for the automotive and heavy truck industries.

The firm had manufacturing operations in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Florida, Canada and Mexico.

In late 2008, More...

NewPage logoIn late December, NewPage Corp., one of the largest U.S. producers of coated-paper, left bankruptcy with both of its pension plans going. 

NewPage's achievement follows other companies that successfully reorganize their finances without gutting the retirement security of current and former employees.  The company's two plans support the retirement incomes of more than 13,000 people.

There's no better way to have a secure retirement future than a lifetime income that you can't outspend. That's why we applaud companies that find a way to maintain their plans, even through bankruptcy.

We always take an active role in bankruptcies to help plans stay open and pay benefits. In fiscal year 2012, those efforts kept more than $12 billion in unfunded pension liabilities off our books and helped nearly 200,000 people keep the benefits they earned.

NewPage of Miamisburg, Ohio, sought bankruptcy protection in September 2011, with $3.4 billion in assets and $4.2 billion in debt. The company has operations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Kentucky, Maryland and Maine.

Ominous clouds

Today's reality is that Americans are deeply concerned about the future of their retirement. According to a recent Pew Research survey, 4-in-10 American adults aren't as confident about their finances for retirement as they were in 2009.

The survey highlighted 35 to 44-year-olds as the age group most concerned about their retirement.

Why the concern? An NBCNEWS.COM article said Americans started to feel pessimistic about their retirement futures beginning in 2009 following the nation’s economic collapse. The gloomy outlook worsened this year.

So, the question is — are you worried about retirement?

Read the full NBCNEWS.COM article and the Pew Research survey.

Looking Back...

  |   October 2, 2012

AA Cartoon image from Roger Schillerstrom

Recently, Business Insurance cartoonist Roger Schillerstrom published a montage of illustrations chronicling some of the highs and lows in the world of pensions over the past decade.

Our communications team also decided to document the agency's history by adding a cool new feature to the Facebook page — a photo movie. With pictures from day one, it highlights important milestones and behind-the-scenes efforts that protect America's pensions.

It's another short and simple way of telling our story.

Check out our Facebook movie timeline (link no longer available).

Photo Credit: Roger Schillerstrom, Business Insurance

Photo Caption: After the PBGC opposes American Airlines' plan to terminate its pension plans, the airline backtracks and agrees to freeze the plans instead, sparing the PBGC from what would have been its biggest-ever loss.

 

A secure retirement is every worker's dream, but successful retirement planning is what makes that dream a reality.  

There are many tools and resources to help make the process a lot simpler and less daunting.

For instance, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has a great online publication complete with interactive worksheets to help you with the process of retirement planning.

Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning is available online and can also be requested in print.

We hope this resource is helpful!