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Reminder to Small Businesses: PBGC's Non-Retaliation Policy and SBA's Ombudsman Assistance

Reminder to Small Businesses: PBGC's Non-Retaliation Policy and SBA's Ombudsman Assistance

The Office of the National Ombudsman of the U.S. Small Business Administration has asked all federal agencies to make clear that, if a small business entity requests Ombudsman assistance on a matter or otherwise questions or complains about a federal agency action, the agency will not retaliate in response. The PBGC is committed to maintaining an environment in which small businesses and others are free to question or complain about PBGC actions or policies without fear of retaliation. The PBGC will thoroughly investigate any allegations of retaliation and take appropriate action to correct the situation and ensure it is not repeated.

The PBGC also wishes to remind small entities that the SBA's Ombudsman is available to assist small entities with federal agency enforcement actions and compliance matters; and that small businesses may request expedited treatment of an enforcement action against them when they believe that delay may threaten the economic viability of the business.

The PBGC has a Problem Resolution Officer, Diane Morstein, who is available to provide compliance assistance and receive and respond to retaliation allegations by small business entities, as well as any other concerns about PBGC matters raised by pension practitioners and other representatives of businesses. In addition, small business entities may request assistance or comment about the PBGC's enforcement actions and compliance processes to the National Ombudsman's office via the Internet (www.sba.gov/ombudsman); e-mail (Ombudsman@sba.gov); telephone (202-205-2417); fax (202- 481-5719); or regular mail (SBA Office of the National Ombudsman, 409 Third St., SW, Washington, DC 20416).

Employers or others who have questions about this policy should call Ms. Morstein at 202-326-4000, ext. 4136, or 1-800-736-2444, extension 4136, or e-mail her at practitioner.pro@pbgc.gov. (TTY/ASCII users may call the Federal Relay Service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to the appropriate number.)