PBGC Protects Pensions At Oklahoma Fixture Company
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2007
WASHINGTON - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced it has assumed responsibility for the underfunded pension plan covering 464 former employees of Oklahoma Fixture Co., a bankrupt manufacturer of retail store fixtures and architectural woodwork in Tulsa, Okla.
The PBGC stepped in because the pension plan was abandoned following the sale of substantially all of the company's properties to Tulsa-based Penloyd LLC. Retirees and beneficiaries will continue to receive their monthly benefit checks without interruption, and other participants will receive their pensions when they reach retirement age.
According to PBGC estimates, the Oklahoma Fixture Co. Pension Plan is about 63 percent funded, with a little more than $4 million in assets to cover nearly $7 million in benefit liabilities. The PBGC expects to be liable for the entire $2.5 million shortfall. The agency will take over the assets and use PBGC insurance funds to pay guaranteed benefits earned under the plan, which terminated on August 12, 2003. The PBGC became trustee of the plan on June 28, 2007. Assumption of the plan's unfunded liabilities will have no material effect on the PBGC's financial statements, according to generally accepted accounting principles.
Oklahoma Fixture filed for Chapter 11 protection on Jan. 31, 2003, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tulsa. On June 19, 2003, the bankruptcy court approved the sale of Oklahoma Fixture's primary assets, as well as the assets of bankrupt affiliate Oklahoma Installation Co. The two companies stopped operating on Aug. 12, 2003, and terminated all of their employees.
Under federal pension law, the maximum pension guaranteed for workers in plans that end in 2003 is $43,977 a year for persons retiring at age 65. Within the next several weeks, the PBGC will send notification letters to all plan participants. Under federal pension law, the maximum pension guaranteed for workers in plans that end in 2003 is $43,977 a year for persons retiring at age 65. 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.
Workers and retirees with questions may consult the PBGC Web site, www.pbgc.gov 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.
Retirees of Oklahoma Fixture 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.
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. 07-32