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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 nearly 826,000 retirees in 4,800 pension plans that ended. Including those who have not yet retired and participants in multiemployer plans receiving financial assistance, PBGC is responsible for the current and future pensions of about 1.5 million people. You can find out if your pension plan is insured by searching our list of defined benefit pension plans.

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 non-fixed instruments and 70 percent for fixed income. This strategy permits an allocation range of plus or minus 5 percent. The policy also establishes an interest rate hedge ratio of 55 percent with a range of plus or minus 5 percent.  This investment policy received unanimous approval from the Board Members on December 15, 2016.

Two Pension Insurance Programs

PBGC pays monthly retirement benefits, up to a guaranteed maximum, to nearly 840,000 retirees in more than 4,700 pension plans that ended.

  • The single-employer program protects about 30 million workers and retirees in over 22,000 pension plans.
  • The multiemployer program protects over 10 million workers and retirees in about 1,400 pension plans. Multiemployer plans are set up by collectively bargained agreements involving more than one unrelated employer, generally in one industry.
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.