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News & Policy

PBGC Recognized for Success at Managing Change

March 22, 2006

WASHINGTON-The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will join the ranks of private-sector leaders such as Intel and Deloitte & Touche tomorrow when Workforce Management magazine bestows on the agency its 2006 Optimas Award. The PBGC won the award in the Managing Change category for its superior workforce management in a changing business environment. When a significant increase in pension plan terminations presented "extraordinary challenges beyond their control . . . PBGC responded with a strategic combination of employee retention and new hiring," the magazine said.

"Over the past few years the pension insurance program has faced unprecedented operational challenges," said PBGC Executive Director Bradley D. Belt, who along with Chief Administrative Officer Stephen Barber will receive the award on behalf of the agency tomorrow evening at a ceremony in New York City. "We are pleased to be recognized for having the right people, processes and systems in place to manage a doubling of our customer base with no diminution in the quality of our customer service."

In addition to the rapid increase in the number of Americans relying directly on the PBGC for their pension benefits, the agency has also experienced a $30 billion swing in its financial position and a tenfold increase in the amount of pension underfunding in insured plans. To meet these challenges, the agency made a number of investments to improve its workforce management. The agency was able not only to retain talented employees but to recruit top-flight financial, legal and management executives. In addition, the PBGC was the first federal agency to receive full certification for its executive evaluation system. Coupled with an agency-wide reorganization to better align business units and a robust training and mentoring program, these efforts put the PBGC in a position to thrive in a challenging environment.

Since 1991, Workforce Management has recognized companies of all sizes for gaining tangible business benefits through superior people management. The magazine presents awards for General Excellence, Competitive Advantage, Ethical Practice, Financial Impact, Global Outlook, Innovation, Managing Change, Partnership, Service and Vision.

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 30,000 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. 06-31