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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

PBGC to the Rescue

  |   May 22, 2012

PBGC has stepped in to protect the retirements of health-care workers at Lower Bucks Hospital in southeastern Pennsylvania and North Adams Regional Hospital in Massachusetts

For more than 50 years, the not-for-profit Lower Bucks Hospital, has maintained its healing mission, serving a population of more than 300,000 people. Although Lower Bucks Hospital will continue to operate, its roughly 1,600 caregivers and other staff will now receive their pension benefits from PBGC.

Fortunately, North Adams Regional Hospital also will continue its century-long tradition as a full-service community hospital for the Northern Berkshires. Because the hospital could not afford to keep its pension plan, PBGC will pay benefits to its 700 workers and retirees.

For more information, see the Lower Bucks Hospital plan page or the North Adams Regional Hospital plan page.

Hawker Beechcraft, a manufacturer of commercial business jets based in Wichita, filed today for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Bankruptcy is a time of uncertainty, especially for a company's workforce.

Let's be clear. Bankruptcy does not necessarily mean a company's pensions will end. Many companies have emerged from Chapter 11 as successful businesses, while keeping their pension promises. Some recent examples are Northwest Airlines, auto-parts maker Visteon, and chemical manufacturer Tronox.

PBGC will be working with Hawker Beechcraft management and its lenders so that the company can reorganize successfully without undermining the retirement security of its workforce.

If you have a benefit from Hawker Beechcraft, your pension plan is ongoing under the company's sponsorship. If you have a question about your individual pension, contact the Hawker Beechcraft plan administrator. If you have questions about PBGC and your insurance coverage, see our frequently asked questions or Your Guaranteed Pension.

PBGC insures more than 10 million Americans in multiemployer pension plans. As the name suggests, a multiemployer plan is funded by more than one employer, typically in the same industry. Each employer makes contributions to the plan on behalf of their employees, usually under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. More...

At PBGC, we're glad we're not alone in talking about flexible new kinds of pension plans. From today's Washington Post, here are more views from some leading retirement experts.

The Best-Saved Plans

  |   March 29, 2012

When the best-laid pension plans go away, PBGC is there to help. But the “best-saved plans” are the ones we never trustee.

When an employer proves it absolutely can’t keep its pension plan, PBGC steps in to pay retiree benefits, up to the limits set by law. But it’s a lot better for everybody—especially retirees—when a company can keep its own pension promises without having fall back on our guarantees. More...

26,000 Keep Pensions at A&P

  |   March 26, 2012

PBGC wants pensions to continue whenever possible. We recently helped A&P exit bankruptcy, while keeping pensions for its 26,000 employees. Here's what we had to say: PBGC: A&P Preserves Single-Employer Pensions in Chapter 11.