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Issues at a Glance

Issues at a Glance

2017 – Participant and Plan Sponsor Issues at a Glance

The Advocate’s 2017 Annual Report noted positive changes by PBGC which are responsive to past identified plan sponsor concerns, including PBGC’s pilot mediation program and voluntary distress termination pre-filing consultation. The Advocate also highlighted positive participant initiatives, including the publication of a final rule to update PBGC’s Missing Participants regulation and sustained interactions with participant advocacy groups.

Additionally, the Advocate identified the following issues faced by participants and plan sponsors:

Participant Issues:

  • Stove-piped departments which hinder participants seeking benefit entitlements.
  • Challenges in obtaining documentation relevant to participants’ benefit claims.
  • Complex benefit entitlement and omitted participant cases.
  • Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.

Plan Sponsor Issues:

  • Lack of ease in doing business with PBGC.
  • Lack of transparency and certainty in PBGC’s actions.
  • Lack of timeliness.
  • Lack of substantive discussion to facilitate prompt settlement.
  • Lack of effective coordination and cohesion among various PBGC departments.

For the first time, the Advocate’s Annual Report includes a pension de-risking study commissioned by the Office of the Advocate at the request of plan sponsors which focuses on PBGC and Congressional actions that may slow pension de-risking activity, and highlights the drivers and causes of pension de-risking.

For more information, including the Advocate’s comments and recommendations, visit the 2017 Annual Report.