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News & Policy

PBGC Pays Pensions at Denman Tire LLC

October 22, 2010

WASHINGTON-The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced it has assumed responsibility for the underfunded pension plan covering more than 600 former workers and retirees of Denman Tire LLC of Leavittsburg, Ohio.

The PBGC stepped in because Denman Tire is liquidating in bankruptcy proceedings, and there will be no sponsor left to fund or administer the plan. Retirees will continue to receive their monthly benefit payments without interruption, and other workers will receive their pensions when they are eligible to retire.

According to PBGC estimates, the Denman Tire Corporation Pension Plan is 46 percent funded, with assets of $15.1 million to cover $32.7 million in benefit liabilities. The PBGC expects to be responsible for $17 million of the $17.6 million shortfall.

The PBGC will take over the assets and use insurance funds to pay guaranteed benefits earned under the plan. The plan ended on March 17, 2010, and the agency assumed responsibility for the plan on Sept. 21, 2010.

Within the next several weeks, the PBGC will send notification letters to all participants in the Denman Tire plan. Under provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the maximum guaranteed pension the PBGC can pay is determined by the legal limits in force on the date of the plan sponsor's bankruptcy. Therefore participants in the plan are subject to the limits in effect when Denman Tire filed for bankruptcy protection on March 17, 2010, which set a maximum guaranteed amount of $54,000 per year for a 65-year-old.

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 five years immediately before the March 17, 2010 bankruptcy date may not be fully guaranteed.

Denman Tire was founded in 1919 and produced off-highway tires for tractors and earthmovers, as well as on-highway commercial tires. The company experienced a drop in sales due to the overall slump in the economy. Unable to find a buyer or secure financing or investors, the company filed for Chapter 7 liquidation on March 17, 2010 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Youngstown, Ohio.

Workers and retirees with questions may consult the PBGC Web site, 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.

Denman Tire retirees 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

Assumption of the plan's unfunded liabilities will increase the PBGC's claims and was not previously included in the agency's fiscal year 2009 financial statements.

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 29,000 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. 11-07