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News & Policy

Federal Pension Insurance Program Will Speed Replacement of Lost Checks in Hurricane-Hit Texas, Louisiana

September 30, 2005

WASHINGTON-The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today responded to emergency conditions caused by Hurricane Rita in coastal areas of Louisiana and Texas by granting next-day direct deposit transfers for beneficiaries who do not receive their October check. The PBGC, the federal insurance program for private-sector defined benefit pensions, offered the same relief in early September to individuals displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

PBGC benefit checks for October were issued on Wednesday, September 28. Although the United States Postal Service has resumed regular mail service, delivery may prove impossible in the hardest-hit Gulf Coast ZIP Codes. Almost 6,300 individuals in these ZIP Codes depend on a monthly retirement benefit from the PBGC, with some 1,800 receiving a hard-copy check through the mail.

For speedy replacement of missed checks, benefit recipients may request direct deposit into an already established bank account. Direct deposit requests will be processed Monday through Friday by the PBGC's Customer Contact Center at 1-800-400-7242 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. C.S.T. The missed October benefit will be transferred to the beneficiary's bank account the following business day.

Individuals who wish to continue to receive a paper check may have their September benefit delivered to a new or temporary address by calling the Customer Contact Center. Individuals with access to the Internet may email their address change to Replacement checks for October should arrive at the new address within six business days.

For employers who sponsor defined-benefit pension plans in Texas and Louisiana, the PBGC has announced extended deadlines for certain required filings. For more information, see x20763.xml. Employers may call 1-800-736-2444 or 202-326-4242.

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. 05-62