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News & Policy

Statement of PBGC Interim Director Charles E.F. Millard on Continuation of Defined Benefit Pensions at Tower Automotive

July 31, 2007

WASHINGTON- Charles E.F. Millard, interim director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, issued the following statement today:

"As insurer of America's private defined benefit pensions, the PBGC takes an active role in corporate bankruptcy proceedings on behalf of workers whose pension plans are not fully funded.

"Early on in the bankruptcy of Tower Automotive Inc., the PBGC made known its analysis that the company could afford its pension plan when it emerged from Chapter 11. And today in fact Tower Automotive has exited bankruptcy with its defined benefit pension plan intact. The 7,000 participants in the plan, including more than 2,000 current retirees, will continue to enjoy their full retirement benefit.

"Unlike many other pension plan sponsors, Tower Automotive met all financial obligations to its pension plan during the course of the bankruptcy. Tower Automotive and its asset purchaser, Cerberus Capital Management, are to be commended for keeping this commitment to their workers' retirement security."

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. 07-36