2018 – Participant and Plan Sponsor Issues at a Glance
The Advocate’s 2018 Annual Report marks the five-year anniversary of establishing the position of the Advocate at PBGC. While the Report identifies the below issues faced by participants and plan sponsors, it also highlights positive changes PBGC has made in response to prior recommendations by the Advocate. The 2018 Annual Report also contains legislative suggestions to strengthen the Office of the Advocate’s enabling legislation based on the Office’s past five years of experience assisting participants and plan sponsors resolve disputes with the corporation.
- Generic communications are inadequate to address complex issues.
- Failure to gather all information on benefit claims hurts participants seeking their benefit entitlements.
- Case management challenges due to lack of contractor supervision.
- Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014.
Plan Sponsor Issues:
- Lack of engaged oversight to promote settlement of stalled cases.
- Protracted negotiations lead to challenges for small employer and charity plan sponsors.
- Lack of clarity in communications with plan sponsors.
- Need for effective coordination and cohesion among different PBGC departments.
Positive Changes Responsive to Advocate Report Recommendations:
- Consolidate the review of potentially omitted participants claims to the Office of Benefits Administration.
- Expansion of the initiative between PBGC and the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration regional offices to help reunite participants with their benefits.
- Provide accessible informal staff guidance concerning Title IV issues for practitioners.
- Plan Sponsor Pilot Mediation Project.
- Established guiding principles for exceptional customer service.
The Report also includes the second part of a pension de-risking study commissioned by the Office of the Advocate at the request of plan sponsors which seeks to identify the key causes of de-risking activity as well as PBGC and Congressional actions that could slow pension de-risking activity.
For more information, including the Advocate’s comments and recommendations, visit the 2018 Annual Report.