Skip to main content

About PBGC

PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

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.

More...

Sack filled with hundred dollar billsAcross the country, there are more than 38,000 people who haven't claimed pension benefits they are owed. Those unclaimed pensions equal a total of over $300 million dollars, with individual benefits ranging from twelve cents to almost a million dollars.

The states with the most missing pension participants and money to be claimed are:

  • New York (7,031/$42.38 million)
  • Illinois (4,129/$79.63 million)
  • California (3,082/$8.52 million)
  • Texas (2,487/$12.32 million)
  • New Jersey (2,288/$12.84 million)
  • Ohio (2,109/$15.22 million)

More...

If you receive a retirement benefit from PBGC, all or some of the money may be taxable. Every year, we report this amount to the IRS and send you an IRS Form 1099-R that states the amount we paid you the previous year.

We'll mail your Form 1099-R for 2012 to your address of record by Thursday, January 31, 2013. If you don't receive your form soon after January 31, 2013, you may use the options below to request a duplicate 1099-R, as early as February 1.

  1. Use our online service, MyPBA, to view and print a copy of your 1099-R tax form for the most recent tax year. 

OR

  1. Call PBGC's Customer Contact Center to request a form by mail. The number is 1-800-400-7242.

Before you call, please have your Social Security number, plan name and case number ready for the customer service representative.

Retiree grabbing envelopes from her mailboxIf you receive a direct deposit payment from PBGC, your funds will be deposited on January 2, 2013, one day after the New Year.  If you receive a paper check, and you have not received your paper check by January 7, call us at 1-800-400-7242 or visit our Contact Us page for other contact options.

Want to receive future payments more quickly? Remember, PBGC offers direct deposit.  It's the most secure and fastest way to receive your payment, and your funds are always available on payday — even if the weather's bad, the post office is closed, or you're out of town.  The future electronic direct deposit dates are already mapped out!

To learn more or sign up for direct deposit, call 1-800-400-7242 or visit MyPBA.

One of the most important ways PBGC protects retirement security is by working to preserve pensions, not just waiting until they fail. New Chief of Negotiations and Restructuring Sanford "Sandy" Rich will lead that effort.

Rich was selected to lead this department because he knows the inner workings of distressed trading, corporate restructuring, and investment banking; he has more than two decades of experience in the industry.

Now that we've given you a snippet of information about Sandy, allow him to introduce himself.

Check out his introductory video on YouTube.

A commonly asked question is how does PBGC determine how much a retiree receives? There's no simple explanation. The short answer is it's sort of complicated.  The longer, more detailed answer is that the amount a retiree receives is dependent on a multitude of factors specified by law, one of which is the maximum guarantee limit, which is adjusted yearly.

Common Misconception: The guarantee limit is often misunderstood to be the maximum benefit PBGC can pay retirees. However, that is not the case.

In many cases retirees receive benefits from PBGC in excess of the maximum guarantee. Whether a retiree receives more than the guarantee depends on a number of factors, including:

1. What the retiree's earned benefit was before the plan terminated

2. How long they've been retired when PBGC takes over

3. The plan's funded status at termination

4. Whether any other limitations apply

FACT: According to a 2006 study, about 85% of retirees who get their pension from PBGC receive their entire earned benefit.

FACT: The guarantee is lower for those who retire early or when there is a benefit for a survivor.

FACT: The guarantee is increased for those who retire after age 65.

Find out more about the 2013 maximum insurance benefit.