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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

PBGC.gov Goes Mobile

  |   April 30, 2013

The new look of PBGC.gov on a mobile phone.Almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet, and many popular websites and web apps are available in mobile versions. Well now, so is PBGC.gov.

It doesn't require a special link or access code. Simply visit www.pbgc.gov from your smartphone and you'll be redirected to the mobile version housing some of our most visited pages on the site. From the PBGC mobile version, you have full access to much of the same content that appears on our desktop version, including:

  • Workers & Retirees
  • Practitioners
  • About
  • News
  • Blog
  • Rates

You can also perform searches and contact PBGC by phone or email with the simple click of a button.

If you want to opt out of viewing the site in the mobile format, that's simple too! Just click on the "Desktop Version" tab on the bottom of the screen.

Want to see how the mobile version of PBGC.gov looks? Go ahead, grab your smartphone, and visit www.pbgc.gov.

‘What is a Pension?’

  |   April 17, 2013

PBGC protects pensions. So, what is a pension? To most people, a pension is a retirement arrangement in which your employer promises you a regular payment from the day you retire, for as long as you live. The amount of your pension usually depends on how long you worked for an employer and your salary with that employer. Ask a retiree, "What is a pension?" and they may say,

"A pension is the $400 per month I receive for my many years of service at Acme Widgets. My pension helps to supplement the $600 per month I receive from Social Security and my retirement savings."

Normally, employees must work for an employer for a certain time period before the benefits they have earned belong to them. After they have done so, they are considered "vested" in those benefits. Today, in some pension plans, you are fully vested after five years on the job. In others, it takes you seven years to become fully vested - but you become vested in increasing portions of your benefit starting at three years. If you've worked for more than one company long enough to become vested in multiple pension plans, you can receive more than one pension payment.

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Surveys: Tell Us the Truth

  |   April 15, 2013

So far, in fiscal year 2013, PBGC has surveyed around 10,000 folks, but what does it mean?

When PBGC comes into someone's life, it may be at a time when everything is broken. Customers have lost jobs, insurance, promise of a comfortable retirement. Death, disease, and disability may bring these trials to a crisis.  While the Corporation can't solve every customer's every problem, it can provide compassionate and responsive service to those who may feel cheated, abused, or simply discarded by the trusted employer who terminated a promised pension.

PBGC can and does measure how many benefit determinations we send out and how fast we issue benefit estimates, which is just part of the story. We won't know about our success in providing information through online sources and by delivering checks, until we hear from the person on the other end. Was it on time by your definition? Was it what you needed? Did we help you understand?

When you tell us the truth, you reveal the opportunities for a process that flows well and makes sense, a graphic that makes a complicated matter clear, a few words that provide assurance and restore a little bit of faith in humanity.

PBGC welcomes your feedback, your questions, and especially your ideas on how we can all work together to make those moments of beauty a more frequent reality for you the customer.

Renting a new apartment?  Buying a house? Applying for benefits from a government agency?  If so, someone may ask you to prove your income. 

If you get a retirement benefit from PBGC, we'll be happy to verify the amount you receive.  Mail us your request in writing, and we'll send income verification to you or a third party (like a landlord or mortgage company).   

To protect your privacy, we have to be sure you authorize us to send out this information.  So you or the third party will have to follow a few simple steps.  You can find complete instructions on our Income Verification Procedures webpage.  

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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Image of a check with the word bank

Millions of Americans take advantage of direct deposit. Whether it's their payroll checks, tax refunds, or benefit payments, many are opting out of paper checks and opting in to convenience.

We want you to know that PBGC offers that same convenience.

Undecided about whether you should switch to direct deposit? Our most recent studies show:

  • 8 out of 9 payment delays affect people who get paper checks
  • More than one in every 200 paper checks is delayed, usually because of postal issues

Paper checks can also be lost or stolen.

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