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News & Policy

PBGC Announces Maximum Guarantee for the Year 2002

November 13, 2001

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced that the maximum benefit it will guarantee for retirees in underfunded single-employer defined benefit plans that terminate in the year 2002 will be $3,579.55 per month, or $42,954.60 per year.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) mandates that the maximum guaranteed amount be adjusted annually based on changes in the Social Security contribution and benefit base.

The maximum guarantee applies to workers who retire at age 65. Maximum guarantees are adjusted for retirees at other ages or those who elect survivor benefits. In some instances, where a pension plan has adequate resources or PBGC recovers sufficient amounts, a participant may receive benefits in excess of the maximum guarantee.

About 541,000 workers and retirees in nearly 2,900 pension plans rely on PBGC for their retirement income.

The maximum monthly guaranteed amounts for plans terminating each year for the past ten years are:

Year of Plan TerminationMaximum Monthly GuaranteeMaximum Annual Guarantee

The PBGC will publish the 2002 maximum guarantee in the November 30, 2001 Federal Register.

PBGC is a federal corporation created under ERISA to guarantee payment of basic pension benefits earned by more than 43 million American workers and retirees participating in nearly 38,000 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. 02-07