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News & Policy

PBGC Maximum Insurance Benefit Increases for 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2011

WASHINGTON—The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation announced today that the yearly maximum benefit a 65-year-old retiree can receive has increased to almost $56,000 from $54,000 in effect since 2009.

Most retirees who get their pension from PBGC -- more than 85 percent -- receive the full amount of their promised benefit.

The amount PBGC pays retirees is based on a formula prescribed by federal law. Yearly amounts are higher for people older than age 65, and lower for those who retire earlier or choose survivor benefits (see chart).

If a pension plan ends in 2012, but a retiree does not begin collecting benefits until a future year, the 2012 rates still apply. For plans that terminate as a result of bankruptcy, the maximum yearly rates are guided by the limits in effect on the day the bankruptcy started, not the day the plan ended.

Beginning in 2012 the maximum yearly benefit for a 65-year-old retiree is $55,840.92. The increase is not retroactive.

For more information, see PBGC's fact sheet "Pension Guarantees".

The following chart shows the 2012 annual and monthly maximum benefit guarantees for retirees from ages 45 to 75. The maximum amount is lower for retirees who begin getting benefits at ages below 65, reflecting the fact that younger retirees receive more monthly pension checks over a longer lifetime. The maximum amount is higher for benefits starting at ages above 65, because older retirees receive fewer monthly pension checks over their expected lifetimes.

Age

Annual Maximum

Monthly Maximum

Monthly Joint and 50% Survivor Maximum*

75

169,756.44

14,146.37

12,731.73

74

154,344.36

12,862.03

11,575.83

73

138,932.16

11,577.68

10,419.91

72

123,520.08

10,293.34

9,264.01

71

108,108.00

9,009.00

8,108.10

70

92,695.92

7,724.66

6,952.19

69

83,202.96

6,933.58

6,240.22

68

74,826.84

6,235.57

5,612.01

67

67,567.56

5,630.63

5,067.57

66

61,425.00

5,118.75

4,606.88

65

55,840.92

4,653.41

4,188.07

64

51,932.04

4,327.67

3,894.90

63

48,023.16

4,001.93

3,601.74

62

44,114.28

3,676.19

3,308.57

61

40,205.52

3,350.46

3,015.41

60

36,296.64

3,024.72

2,722.25

59

34,062.96

2,838.58

2,554.72

58

31,829.28

2,652.44

2,387.20

57

29,595.72

2,466.31

2,219.68

56

27,362.04

2,280.17

2,052.15

55

25,128.36

2,094.03

1,884.63

54

24,011.64

2,000.97

1,800.87

53

22,894.80

1,907.90

1,717.11

52

21,777.96

1,814.83

1,633.35

51

20,661.12

1,721.76

1,549.58

50

19,544.28

1,628.69

1,465.82

49

18,427.56

1,535.63

1,382.07

48

17,310.72

1,442.56

1,298.30

47

16,193.88

1,349.49

1,214.54

46

15,077.04

1,256.42

1,130.78

45

13,960.20

1,163.35

1,047.02

* Both spouses the same age

About PBGC

PBGC protects the pension benefits of 44 million Americans in 27,500 private-sector pension plans. The agency is directly responsible for paying the benefits of more than 1.5 million people in failed pension plans. PBGC receives no taxpayer dollars and never has. Its operations are financed by insurance premiums and with assets and recoveries from failed plans.

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PBGC No. 12-07