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News & Policy

Federal Pension Insurer to Assume Responsibility for Slater Steels Pensions

November 06, 2003

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation today announced that it will assume responsibility for two pension plans sponsored by the bankrupt Slater Steels Corp., a U.S. subsidiary of Slater Steel Inc. of Mississaugua, Ont. The pension plans cover about 1,100 workers and retirees of Slater Steels' Fort Wayne Specialty Alloys facility in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Slater Steels Fort Wayne Specialty Alloys Division United Steelworkers of America Pension Plan and the Slater Steels Fort Wayne Specialty Alloys Division Salaried Employees Pension Plan will end as of November 6, 2003. The two plans have assets of nearly $40 million and liabilities of $76 million. Of the $36 million shortfall, the federal pension insurance program will be liable for almost $29 million.

Until the PBGC becomes trustee of the Slater Steels pension plans, individuals who have questions or wish to retire should contact the pension plan administrator. Once the PBGC becomes trustee of the plans, retirees will continue to receive their monthly benefit checks without interruption, up to guaranteed federal limits. Other employees will receive benefits when they are eligible to retire.

Under federal pension law, the maximum pension guaranteed for workers in plans that end in 2003 is $3,664 a month (or $43,977 a year) for persons retiring at age 65. Maximum guarantees are reduced for those who retire before age 65 or choose survivor benefits, and increased for those who retire after age 65. Benefit increases made within the last five years are not fully guaranteed, and the PBGC does not insure unfunded severance benefits. Information about 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 32,500 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. 04-07