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News & Policy

Federal Pension Insurer Protects Benefits of 9,100 at Harvard Industries

August 26, 2002

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation today announced it will assume responsibility for the pensions of about 9,100 workers and retirees of Harvard Industries Inc., a bankrupt automotive parts supplier based in Lebanon, N.J.

"PBGC is becoming trustee of Harvard Industries' pension plans because the company is liquidating in bankruptcy and the plans do not have enough money to pay all benefits," said PBGC Executive Director Steven A. Kandarian. "Monthly pension checks will continue uninterrupted to Harvard retirees, up to the maximum allowed by law, and Harvard workers will receive their pensions when they are eligible to retire."

Harvard Industries' corporate group sponsored six pension plans: Harvard Retirement Plan; Albion Division Hourly Rate Pension Plan; Bryan Division Hourly Rate Pension Plan; Jackson Division Hourly Rate Pension Plan; Spencerville Division Hourly Rate Pension Plan; and Doehler-Jarvis Pension Plan for Wage Base Employees. Together, these plans are underfunded by about $97 million, with slightly more than $116 million in assets to cover about $213 million in benefit liabilities according to PBGC estimates.

All six plans terminated as of August 23, 2002. Under federal pension law, the maximum pension guaranteed for workers in plans that terminate in 2002 is $3,579.55 a month (or $42,954.60 a year) for persons retiring at age 65. Maximum guarantees are adjusted for those who retire at ages younger or older than 65 or those who elect survivor benefits.

Employees and retirees do not need to take any action. Harvard Industries pension plan participants who have questions 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. General information about PBGC's pension insurance program is available at the agency Web site,

Harvard Industries and its several affiliates including Hayes-Albion Corp. and Doehler-Jarvis Inc., operated facilities in Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It currently guarantees payment of basic pension benefits earned by more than 44 million American workers and retirees participating in over 35,000 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 by PBGC's investment returns.

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PBGC No. 02-38