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How PBGC Operates

Money PBGC Takes In and Pays Out

PBGC receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed by insurance premiums set by Congress and paid by sponsors of defined benefit plans, investment income, assets from pension plans trusteed by PBGC, and recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the plans.

PBGC pays monthly retirement benefits, up to a guaranteed maximum, to more than 861,000 retirees in 4,919 single-employer pension plans that ended.

How We Invest Our Money

PBGC’s investment policy is established by the agency’s Board of Directors, which is comprised of the Secretaries of Labor, Treasury, and Commerce. Currently, the Board has established an investment policy that requires the following asset allocations: 30 percent for equities and other non-fixed instruments, and 70 percent for fixed income. This strategy permits an allocation range of plus or minus 5 percent. This investment policy was approved by PBGC’s Board at the October 13, 2015 Board meeting.

Two Pension Insurance Programs
  • The Single-Employer Program protects about 26.2 million workers and retirees in about 23,400 pension plans.
  • The Multiemployer Program protects about 10.6 million workers and retirees in about 1,400 pension plans.
What Happens When PBGC Takes Over a Plan

PBGC reviews your plan's records to determine what benefits each person will receive. To ensure PBGC has the correct information, we will ask you to complete an information form.

If you are already receiving a pension, we will continue paying you without interruption during our review. These payments, an estimate of the benefits that PBGC can pay under the insurance program, may be less than you were receiving from your plan but will be paid in the annuity form you chose at retirement.

If you have not yet retired, we will pay you an estimated benefit when you become eligible and apply to PBGC to begin payments. About four months before you are ready for your benefits to begin, contact PBGC by calling the Customer Contact Center toll-free at 1-800-400-7242 (for TTY/ASCII users call toll-free at 1-800-877-8339).

We pay most benefits by electronic direct deposit, sending your monthly payments directly to your financial institution. If you do not want to use direct deposit, you may still receive your benefit by check.