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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

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.

'Don't Believe the Myths'

  |   December 10, 2012

Whether retirement is knocking on your door or decades away, you should have a financial plan in place to help you reach that milestone. Bloomberg Business News published an article that debunks some of the myths about retirement. As the article states, "We're living increasingly in a "yoyo" economy -- short for "you're on your own."

According to the article, here are some of the most common myths about retirement:

MYTH NO. 1: It's OK to postpone saving for retirement until other needs are taken care of.

MYTH NO. 2: Medicare will take care of almost all your health care needs.

MYTH NO. 3: You'll need far less income in retirement to maintain the same standard of living.

MYTH NO. 4: You can claim Social Security early and still get full benefits later.

MYTH NO. 5: You should rely heavily on bonds rather than stocks as you get older.

MYTH NO. 6: Any retirement target-date fund will allow you to "set it and forget it."

MYTH NO. 7: You'll be able to make up a savings shortfall by retiring later or working part-time in retirement.

Read the full article, "7 retirement planning myths debunked."

Weekly Pension News Round-Up

  |   November 30, 2012

Here's what made headlines this week in pension news:  

By way of the Associated Press, WTOP circulates "Federal agency takes over 2 RG Steel pension plans."

The Seattle Times runs "Don't jump for lump sum offer."

PBGC will pay retirement benefits for more than 1,300 current and future retirees of RG Steel, the nation's fourth-largest flat-rolled steel producer with steelmaking facilities located in Sparrows Point, Md.; Warren, Ohio, and Wheeling, W.Va. Additional finishing facilities are in Yorkville and Martins Ferry, Ohio.

RG Steel and its seven affiliates are liquidating in bankruptcy. PBGC has trusteed the two pension plans RG sponsored - the RG Steel Warren, LLC Hourly Employees Pension Plan ("Warren Plan") and the RG Steel Wheeling, LLC Pension Plan ("Wheeling Plan"). 

In bankruptcy, RG Steel has sold practically all of its assets.  Most of the buyers are liquidators, none of which assumed the pension plans.  PBGC initiated termination because of RG Steel's liquidation in bankruptcy and the forthcoming abandonment of the pension plans. More...

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 maximum insurance benefit.