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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

On Wednesday the agency moved to end the Cinram Music Union Pension plan, which has some 280 participants and is about 53 percent funded, according to PBGC estimates.

We took this step because the company that sponsors the plan is about to sell the majority of its assets to a buyer that isn't assuming the pension plan.

The plan's sponsor, Cinram (U.S.) Holding's Inc., is involved in a Chapter 15 case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., while its Toronto-based parent, Cinram International Inc., sought creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in a Canadian court. More...

In and around the hard-hit city of Detroit, PBGC is protecting the retirement of people making a difference.  The agency has stepped in to protect the retirement income of the nearly 1,600 employees of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

While the pension plan is ending, the not-for-profit United Way for Southeastern Michigan is not. So, workers there can continue the non-profit's mission to improve communities and individual lives with the confidence that their pensions are safe.

The pension plan had a shortfall of about $23 million, which PBGC will make up from its insurance funds. Retirees will get their full benefit, up to the limits set by Congress ($54,000 a year for a 65-year-old).

If you're a member of the pension plan you will get a letter from us soon with more information. In the meantime, see the United Way for Southeastern Michigan plan page for more information.

Alert! Don't pay a finders fee for your pension!

PBGC protects pensions. We also want to protect you!

Scams are at an all-time high during these tough economic times, and retirees are among scammers' favorite targets.  

We have just learned that an individual attempted to obtain a 25% "finder's fee" for helping a retired United Airlines flight attendant get her PBGC pension benefit. He, as well as others, may be doing this with other UAL flight attendants.

Let's be clear: You do not need anyone's assistance to obtain your benefit from PBGC. People or firms who offer to help you for a finder's fee are not associated with PBGC. If you have questions, contact us by email or call our Customer Contact Center at 1-800-400-7242.

Read the full fraud alert from the Inspector General.

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...