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News & Policy

PBGC to Protect Pension Benefits of Almost 3,400 in Thorn Apple Valley Plans

November 09, 1999

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced it will take over four underfunded pension plans covering workers for meat processor Thorn Apple Valley, Inc. (TAV), Southfield, Mich.

"PBGC is acting because the pensions are underfunded and the company is liquidating," said PBGC Executive Director David M. Strauss. "As a result of PBGC's action, the retirement benefits of almost 3,400 Thorn Apple Valley workers are protected, and those workers already retired will continue to receive their pension checks without interruption."

The pension plans have assets of about $14 million to cover benefit liabilities totaling more than $25 million. The four pension plans are: TAV Local 26 Hourly Employees' Pension Plan; TAV Grand Rapids Division Hourly Employees' Pension Plan; TAV Carolina Hourly Employees' Pension Plan; and TAV Smoked Meats Hourly Employees' Pension Plan.

Virtually all workers and retirees will receive the same benefits they are now receiving or would be entitled to receive under the plans, which will be terminated effective August 26, 1999, the date TAV ceased operations. The maximum pension guaranteed for workers in plans that terminate in 1999 is $3,051.14 a month (or $36,613.68 a year) for persons retiring at age 65 or later. The guarantee is lower for those who retire early or have survivor's benefits.

Workers and retirees do not need to take any action. Anyone with questions about benefits or wishing to retire may contact PBGC's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-800-400-7242. For TTY/TDD users, call the federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 800-400-7242.

IBP, Inc., Dakota Dunes, S.Dak., purchased substantially all TAV operating assets including plants in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Ponca City, Okla.; Forrest City, Ark.; and Holly Ridge, N.C.; and TAV brand names Corn King, Colonial, Wilson Certified, Cavanaugh Lake View Farms and Thorn Apple Valley.

PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to guarantee payment of basic pension benefits earned by some 42 million American workers and retirees participating in more than 44,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed largely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and investment returns.

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PBGC No. 00-05