PBGC Assumes Pension Plans of Venture Holdings Corp.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2007
WASHINGTON-The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced it has assumed responsibility for the pensions of more than 1,100 former employees of Venture Holdings Corp., a bankrupt maker of plastic automobile components based in Fraser, Mich.
The PBGC stepped in because two Venture pension plans faced abandonment after the company, in liquidation, sold substantially all of its assets and no purchaser was willing to assume the plan. 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 two Venture plans, known as the "Lancaster Plan" and the "Seabrook Plan", cover hourly workers. According to PBGC estimates, the plans have a combined shortfall of $12.4 million, with total assets of $12.5 million and liabilities of $24.9 million. Assumption of the plans will have no material effect on the PBGC's balance sheet, as an estimate of the unfunded liabilities was included in its fiscal 2006 financial statements according to generally accepted accounting principles. The Lancaster Plan terminated on August 31, 2004 and the Seabrook Plan terminated on September 30, 2004. The PBGC became trustee of the plans on December 11, 2006.
Under federal pension law, the maximum guaranteed pension at age 65 for participants in plans that terminated in 2004 is $44,386 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.
Retirees of Venture Holdings Corp. who draw a benefit from the PBGC may be eligible for the federal Health Coverage Tax Credit. Further information may be found on the PBGC Web site at http://www.pbgc.gov/workers-retirees/benefits-information/content/page13692.html.
Within the next several weeks, the PBGC will send trusteeship notification letters to all plan participants. Workers and retirees with questions may consult the PBGC Web site, www.pbgc.gov or call toll-free at 1-800-400-7242. TTY/TDD users should call the federal relay service at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 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 30,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. The PBGC receives no general tax revenue and is not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Operations are financed largely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and by investment returns.
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PBGC No. 07-14