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News & Policy

Statement of PBGC Executive Director Bradley D. Belt on Enron

August 05, 0204

"Enron has repeatedly said that it wants to do a standard termination of its pension plans, where a private-sector insurance company takes over the obligations and pays promised benefits. That would be the ideal outcome for participants and the pension insurance program. Unfortunately, by its own admission, Enron has failed to make any progress toward executing a standard termination. With today's action, Enron raises even more doubts about its willingness to keep its pension promise to workers and retirees. If Enron fails to carry out its commitment to do a standard termination, the PBGC is ready to assume the pension obligations, pay participants their guaranteed benefits, and pursue its claim against Enron for the full amount of the underfunding."

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 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 PBGC's investment returns.

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PBGC No. 04-62