The month of May is declared as Older Americans Month! Sponsored by the U.S. Administration on Aging, this year's theme is "Unleash the Power of Age."
In President Obama's proclamation of this month of recognition, he noted, "As older Americans strive to lift up their neighborhoods, my Administration is working to make sure they get the tools they need to make a difference."
One of those tools that aid older Americans in being able to "unleash the power of age" and thrive after retiring from years of service is the ability to collect the monthly pension check they've earned.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation protects the retirement incomes of more than 44 million American workers. Eighty-five percent of retirees who receive benefits from PBGC receive the full amount of the promised benefit.
That's what makes the work of PBGC important — we're working to preserve pension plans and to make new plans possible for coming generations of older Americans, too.
As the days of the month pass, stay tuned for more from PBGC as we recognize and honor the contributions of older Americans!
In the meantime, we'd like to share a video about how PBGC works to protect pensions.
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
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.
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.
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.