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News & Policy

PBGC Negotiates $3.7 Million Additional Pension Funding for Workers at Chicken of the Sea International

February 23, 2011

WASHINGTON—The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation today announced an agreement with Chicken of the Sea International to improve funding for a pension plan covering more than 2,300 of the company’s workers and retirees.

The agreement, based on mutual cooperation between PBGC and Chicken of the Sea, serves to satisfy requirements related to the September 2009 shutdown of a tuna packing facility in American Samoa, a U.S. territory located in the South Pacific Ocean.

Under the agreement, the company will pay $3.7 million to the Retirement Plan for COS Samoa Packing Company Production Employees over the next three years. The payments exceed the company’s required plan contributions.

“Our agency is always ready to help companies improve the financial footing of the pensions they sponsor,” said PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum. “We hope more companies will follow Chicken of the Sea’s example in helping to shore up retirement income for their employees.”

Chicken of the Sea, headquartered in San Diego, Calif., specializes in tuna and seafood.

About PBGC

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the federal pension law that created PBGC, requires the agency to seek additional protection when more than 20 percent of a company's employees covered by a pension plan lose their jobs due to a cessation of operations at a facility. However, the agency strives to create settlements that safeguard pension plans, while recognizing the business needs of the companies that sponsor them. Since 2007, under this program, PBGC has obtained more than $750 million in additional protection for defined benefit plans covering more than 80,000 workers and retirees.

The PBGC is a federal corporation that guarantees payment of basic pension benefits earned by 44 million American workers and retirees participating in over 27,500 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues and never has. Operations are financed entirely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and from the assets and recoveries on behalf of plans that have been assumed by PBGC.

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PBGC No. 11-24