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News & Policy

PBGC Takes Hospital Pension Plan in New Jersey to Secure Worker Benefits

May 07, 1999

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced it will take over the Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital Retirement Income Plan to protect over 1,100 workers and retirees of Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital, Riverside, N.J., and Rancocas Hospital, Willingboro, N.J. PBGC is acting because the plan is underfunded and its current sponsor, Allegheny Hospitals, New Jersey (AHNJ), is liquidating.

"These hospital workers and retirees can be assured that because of the federal pension insurance program they will receive their pensions," said PBGC Executive Director David M. Strauss.

AHNJ's hospital holdings were sold in two separate transactions, neither of which included assumption of the pension plan. The plan, with assets of $7.7 million and liabilities of $13.3 million, is underfunded by $5.6 million according to PBGC estimates. The hospital sales proceeds are being held in a trust to pay AHNJ creditors including PBGC for the pension underfunding.

Almost all plan participants will receive the same benefit promised under the Zurbrugg plan. The maximum pension guaranteed for workers in plans that end in 1999 is $3,051.14 a month ($36,613.68 a year) for persons retiring at age 65 or later. The guarantee is lower for those who retire early or have survivor's benefits.

Workers and retirees do not need to take any action. Anyone in the Zurbrugg plan who has questions about benefits or wishes to retire may contact PBGC's customer service center at 1-800-400-7242. For TYY/TDD users, call the federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 800-400-7242.

AHNJ is an affiliate of Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation (AHERF), Pittsburgh. Separate from the Zurbrugg plan, AHERF sponsors other pension plans. These plans remain ongoing and AHERF continues to make all minimum funding contributions. Participants in these pension plans should call their plan administrator, not PBGC, if they have any questions regarding their benefits.

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. 99-24