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News & Policy

PBGC Offers CD for Publication Reproduction

April 21, 1999

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced availability of a compact disc (CD) for companies, unions and benefit advisors interested in reproducing multiple copies of the publication, A Predictable, Secure Pension for Life: Defined Benefit Pensions.

With the CD, company or local print shops can reproduce the publication, which is in desk-top publishing format with QuarkXPress Macintosh version 4.0. The CD is available free of charge from PBGC's Communications & Public Affairs Department, 1200 K St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20005.

The booklet provides easy-to-understand information on defined benefit pension plans and the federal insurance program that protects them. The information remains available as a free booklet from the Consumer Information Center (CIC), Dept. 639E, Pueblo, CO 81009. CIC provides no more than 50 copies of the same publication to the same requester. The booklet also is available electronically on PBGC's Internet site,

The booklet helps workers understand what defined benefit plans are, how they operate, and some of the rules governing them. The booklet also contains a "pension checklist," to help people already covered by a private-sector defined benefit pension plan better understand the provisions of their specific plan and provides a handy place to note information about their plan.

Among retirement income plans, defined benefit pensions are distinct. They are the only private retirement vehicle that reliably provides predictable, secure benefits for life. The employer, rather than the worker, bears the investment risk. Workers earn a monthly benefit that will last for their lifetime and that of their spouses.

All private-sector pension plans are governed by pension law. But only defined benefit plans are federally insured. If a company can no longer stay in business and fund its defined benefit plan, PBGC steps in and pays pension benefits up to legal limits to those already retired and to others when they reach retirement age.

PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to guarantee payment of basic pension benefits earned by some 42 million American workers and retirees participating in more than 44,000 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 investment returns.

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PBGC No. 99-21