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News & Policy

PBGC to Protect Pensions at Techneglas Inc.

June 30, 2005

WASHINGTON-The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation today announced it will assume responsibility for the pensions of almost 3,000 hourly workers at bankrupt Techneglas Inc., a maker of specialty glass for cathode ray tubes at plants in Columbus and Perrysburg, Ohio, and Pittston, Pa. Techneglas, based in Columbus, is a unit of Nippon Electric Glass Co. of Japan.

The PBGC is stepping in because Techneglas has missed $17 million in required contributions and the pension plan will be abandoned when the company completes its bankruptcy proceeding. Retirees will continue to receive their monthly benefit checks without interruption, and other workers will receive their pensions when they are eligible to retire.

The Amended & Restated Techneglas, Inc. Hourly Retirement Plan is 40 percent funded, with about $67 million in assets to cover $164 million in benefit liabilities. The PBGC expects to be liable for about $70 million of the $97 million shortfall. The pension plan ended as of June 30, 2005.

Under federal pension law, the maximum guaranteed pension at age 65 for participants in plans that terminate in 2005 is $45,613 per year. The maximum guaranteed amount is lower for those who retire earlier or elect survivor benefits. In addition, certain early retirement subsidies and benefit increases made within the past five years may not be fully guaranteed.

After the PBGC becomes trustee of the Techneglas hourly retirement plan, expected within several weeks, the agency will send trusteeship notification letters to all plan participants. Workers and retirees with questions may consult the PBGC Web site, or call 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 for 800-400-7242.

The 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 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.

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PBGC No. 05-50