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News & Policy

President Names Advisors to Federal Pension Insurance Program

June 29, 2004

President Bush has designated Melody L. McDonald of San Francisco as chair of the Advisory Committee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The president has also appointed Thomas M. Garrott of Memphis, Betty Scott Ireland of Charleston, W.Va., and James E. Nevels of Swarthmore, Pa., to serve as members of the committee.

"The PBGC is fortunate to have such an accomplished group of individuals to provide advice and counsel on issues important to the pension insurance program," said Executive Director Brad Belt. "I look forward to working with the new members of the Advisory Committee and with Melody in her role as chair."

Ms. McDonald is managing director at RCM Capital Management LLC, an investment firm in San Francisco. Her investment management and banking career includes 18 years at RCM and 4 years at Wells Fargo Bank. Ms. McDonald received a master of arts from the New England Conservatory of Music, a doctorate in music from Stanford University and a master's in business administration from Harvard Business School. She was appointed to the PBGC Advisory Committee in 2002 to represent the interests of the general public and will serve as chair until 2005.

Mr. Garrott is chairman of the executive committee of National Commerce Financial (NCF) Corp., a retail banking institution where he served as chairman of the board until 2003. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Vanderbilt University and a master's in business administration from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. On the PBGC Advisory Committee, Mr. Garrott will represent the interests of employers in a term that expires in 2007.

Ms. Ireland is president and CEO of Jackson & Kelly Solutions LLC, the enterprise arm of West Virginia's largest law firm. She previously served as head of Jackson & Kelly's employee benefits group and from 1998 until 2000 was executive director of the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board. Ms. Ireland is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and holds the designation of certified pension consultant from the American Society of Pension Actuaries. She will represent the interests of employers on the PBGC Advisory Committee in a term that ends in 2007.

Mr. Nevels is chairman of the board of The Swarthmore Group, an independent investment advisory firm. He is also chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, which administers the seventh-largest school district in the United States. Mr. Nevels earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and political science from Bucknell University, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a master's in business administration from the Wharton School of Finance. He will represent the interests of the general public on the PBGC Advisory Committee in term that ends in 2007.

The PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974. It currently guarantees payment of basic pension benefits earned by 44 million American workers and retirees participating in over 31,000 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 investment returns.

The PBGC Advisory Committee carries out several specific responsibilities outlined by ERISA, including advising on PBGC investment policies and procedures, the trusteeship of terminated plans, and other matters as determined by the PBGC.

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PBGC No. 04-56