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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

There isn't any doubt that the economy has taken a big hit in recent years.

As the housing market begins to rebound and the stock market hits a new high, the percentage of Americans who are confident that they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement is the lowest it has been in 23 years.

According to the latest Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) only 13 percent were very confident of having a comfortable retirement, while 38 percent were somewhat confident, 21 percent not too confident, and 28 percent not at all confident.

Some of the biggest factors influencing the drop in confidence are high debt levels, and uncertainty about employment.

Read the 2013 EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey Results.

Weekly Pension News Round-Up

  |   March 15, 2013

Here's what made headlines this week in pension news:  

The Journal Gazette publishes, "Retiring securely a rising concern."

HeraldNet runs, "Pensions part of system that actually works right." 

SmartHR Manager blogs about "More Pension Sponsors Considering Lump-sum Payouts." 

Do you have any idea where the United States ranks when it comes to retirement security? You guessed first place? No, that's not it.

Second? Not that either.

In fact, the U.S. barely made the top 20 ranking. The U.S. ranked number 19, among 150 countries listed by retirement security, behind many Eastern and Western European countries, according to Natixis Global Asset Management firm.

The Natixis Global Retirement Index "gauges how well retired citizens live in 150 nations" based on 20 measures of health, wealth, quality of life and "material well-being" that affect citizens' retirement security.

More...

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.