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Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation March 1, 2016

Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation March 1, 2016

Attendees

Department of Labor
Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor and Chair of the PBGC Board of Directors
Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration
Judy Mares, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration
Ali Khawar, Counselor to the Secretary, Department of Labor
Hilary Duke, Division Chief, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration
Nicole Swift, Employee Benefits Law Specialist, Employee Benefits Security Administration
Magali Matarazzi, Special Assistant, Office of Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration  

Department of the Treasury
Amias Gerety, Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions
Mark Iwry, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Deputy Assistant Secretary (Retirement and Health Policy)
Philip Quinn, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Financial Institutions Policy
Kim Egert, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Financial Institutions Policy

Department of Commerce
Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce
Justin Antonipillai, Counselor to the Secretary performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Economic Affairs
Rick Lattimer, Policy Analyst, Economics and Statistics Administration
Kenneth R. White, Policy Analyst, Economics and Statistics Administration

PBGC
Tom Reeder, Director
Ann Orr, Chief of Staff
Alice Maroni, Chief Management Officer
Judith Starr, General Counsel and Secretary to the Board
Michael Rae, Deputy Chief Policy Officer
Chris Bone, Director, Policy Research and Analysis Department
Karen Morris, Acting Chief of Negotiations and Restructuring

PBGC Office of Inspector General
Bob Westbrooks, Inspector General
Bill Owens, Chief of Staff

PBGC Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate
Constance Donovan, Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate
Camille Castro, Associate PBGC Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate

The Chair called the meeting to order at 1:32 p.m.  He greeted the attendees and acknowledged new Commerce Board Representative Justin Antonipillai.  The meeting then proceeded in accordance with the established agenda (Attachment 1).

PBGC Director Reeder discussed PBGC's progress in establishing an enterprise risk management (ERM) program and offered to brief the Board in more detail during the executive session.  He updated the Board on progress in closing audit findings and agreed to Secretary Pritzker's request to include audit closure milestones and current status in future reports to the Board.  Director Reeder then discussed with the Board current multiemployer activity in Congress. Director Reeder also introduced to the Board PBGC's Acting Chief of Negotiations and Restructuring Karen Morris.  

The Chair then turned the discussion to the subject of multiemployer premiums.  PBGC Director of Policy, Research and Analysis Chris Bone provided a background briefing on multiemployer plan issues: the low funding levels, the low guaranty, and the insolvency risk to PBGC's multiemployer insurance program.  Mr. Bone reviewed with the Board various options for designing a premium that could deal both with revenue needs and also align incentives within the multiemployer system. The Board discussed with Director Reeder the role PBGC can play in educating it on the implications of different choices, as well as the role the Board can play in helping Congress to understand the urgency of addressing these issues, and agreed to follow up the discussion.  

Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate Connie Donovan provided a summary of her annual report to the Board and highlighted PBGC's progress, particularly in its responsiveness to participants.  She led a discussion with the Board members regarding her concerns about derisking by sponsors of single- employer plans and the potential effects on PBGC.  She also briefed the Board on issues being raised to her by plan sponsors, including PBGC's enforcement tools, as well as by multiemployer plan participants facing benefit cuts.  

Inspector General Robert Westbrooks reported that in the past ten months, open audit recommendations have been cut in half, and commended the Board for its oversight role.  He identified instances where OIG and PBGC management have cooperated to resolve issues quickly while maintaining the independence of his office, such as the recent work by PBGC and OIG to convince OMB to correct PBGC's FISMA score, which OMB cited as a best practice. He also cited OIG's work with PBGC, in response to a congressional request regarding the Delphi Salaried Plan, to improve participant communications on PBGC's web site and increase transparency.  

The Chair expressed his appreciation that OIG has shown that the relationship with the agency can be both independent and collaborative.  The Board then went into executive session with Director Reeder, and then with the Inspector General.  The meeting concluded at 3:15.              

Attachment 1

AGENDA   

MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION (PBGC)   

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.   

I. Introduction by Secretary Perez
II. Director’s Report
III. Multiemployer Premiums and the Effect on PBGC Insolvency – Administration Budget Proposal
IV. Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate Report
V. OIG Update
VI. Executive Session with the OIG
VII. Board Member Executive Session

Last updated May 15, 2017