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News & Policy

Federal Pension Insurer Protects Benefits at Columbia Hospital for Women

December 16, 2002

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) today announced it has assumed responsibility for the underfunded pension plan covering 1,004 workers and retirees of Columbia Hospital for Women of Washington, D.C.

The PBGC estimates the Columbia Hospital for Women Foundation Inc. Pension Plan, with assets of $10.5 million to cover benefit liabilities of $19.1 million, is underfunded by $8.6 million. The agency will take over the assets and use PBGC insurance funds to pay guaranteed benefits earned under the plan, which terminated as of May 8, 2002.

Under federal pension law, the maximum pension guaranteed for workers in plans that terminated in 2002 is $3,579 a month (or $42,954 a year) for persons retiring at age 65. Maximum guarantees are adjusted for retirees older or younger than age 65 and for those who choose survivor benefits.

Workers and retirees do not need to take any action. Those who have questions may contact the PBGC 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. Further information about the PBGC's pension insurance program is available at the agency Web site,

The PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It currently guarantees payment of basic pension benefits for about 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 the PBGC's investment returns.

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PBGC No. 03-08