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PBGC will pay retirement benefits for nearly 1,400 current and future retirees at White Rose Inc., an independent food wholesaler based in Carteret, N.J.

The agency is stepping in because White Rose plans to sell its assets in bankruptcy and the pension plan will be abandoned. The company's plan, Third Amended and Restated Di Giorgio Retirement Plan, will end as of Oct. 27, 2014.

PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the plan's retirees up to the legal limit of about $59,320 a year for a 65-year-old.

Retirees will continue to get benefits without interruption, and future retirees can apply for benefits as soon as they are eligible.

Employees and retirees who are participants in White Rose's plan will continue to receive benefits from the company until PBGC assumes responsibility.

According to PBGC estimates, the plan is 64 percent funded with $54.6 million in assets to pay $84.9 million in benefit liabilities. The agency is expected to cover $30.2 million of the $30.3 million shortfall.

On Sept. 9, 2014 White Rose and its affiliates sought Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The company said in court papers that C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. intends to be the lead bidder for White Rose's assets. An auction, sale hearing, and closing are slated to take place on Oct. 24, Oct.29, and Oct. 31 respectively.

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