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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum penned a letter to the editor of the Washington Examiner where he addressed retirement security and the desire of many Americans to keep both their jobs and their pensions.

Read the full letter to the editor.

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.

PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum recently returned from the 3rd Annual U.S. Investment Management Awards where he was honored by Institutional Investor magazine with its Outstanding Contribution Award. The magazine selected Gotbaum "for the important work he’s doing to protect the future of defined benefit plans and their beneficiaries."

In an article on the magazine’s website, writer Frances Denmark says Gotbaum has become "a national voice calling for new forms of defined benefit plans" and notes his forceful efforts to preserve pensions at American Airlines. 

Read the full article on Institutional Investor website.

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...

Americans are living longer, healthier lives, and enjoying more years of retirement. That's a very good thing. But it means people will need enough money to pay for those extra years.

How much is enough for you? With so many factors to think about–health, housing, hobbies, to name a few–figuring it out can be a real challenge.

There are many tools on the internet that can help.  A good place to start is the Ballpark Estimate calculator, created by the respected nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute. It's easy to use, and gives you a quick estimate of how much you'll need to save for those retirement years.

EBRI' s calculator is part of its Choose to Save program, which offers many useful tips for future retirees.  Check it out at www.choosetosave.org.