PBGC runs two pension insurance programs: single-employer and multiemployer. While each program is designed to protect pension benefits when plans fail, they differ significantly in the level of benefits guaranteed, the insurable event that triggers the guarantee, and premiums paid by insured plans. The two programs are financially separate. Assets of one program may not be used to pay obligations of the other. Here's a deeper look into both programs.
The single-employer program covers pension plans that are sponsored by one employer. The insurable event triggering PBGC's obligation to provide guaranteed benefits is termination of an underfunded plan. This typically happens when the employer sponsoring the plan goes out of business or bankrupt, and can no longer afford to keep the plan going. When this happens, PBGC takes over the plan's assets, administration and payment of plan benefits (up to the legal limit). More...
Here at PBGC, it's our hope that you're using every week to plan for your retirement. But if not, this week, April 13 - 17, is a good time to start. That's because this week is National Retirement Planning Week (NRPW)!
Recognized in April, during financial literacy month, NRPW represents a national effort to help consumers focus on their financial needs during retirement. This effort is led by the National Retirement Planning Coalition - a group of prominent education, consumer advocacy and financial services organizations charged with educating Americans on the importance of retirement planning.
PBGC will pay retirement benefits for 2,101 people covered by the APL/NVF Consolidated Pension Plan, which is sponsored by the estate of businessman Victor Posner. The estate has interests in about 40 entities that mostly focus on real estate development in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
The agency is stepping in because the assets of the Posner estate are being distributed by a Florida Probate Court, and the pension plan will be abandoned. The APL/NVF Consolidated Pension Plan will end as of July 31, 2014.
PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the plan's retirees up to the legal limit of about $59,320 a year for a 65-year-old.
Retirees will continue to get benefits without interruption, and future retirees can apply for benefits as soon as they are eligible.
PBGC runs two insurance programs that safeguard retirement benefits in different ways.
Lately, you may have heard about multiemployer plans and the financial troubles that some of them are having as described in our Projections Report. Currently, PBGC insures more than 10 million workers and retirees in about 1,400 multiemployer plans.
PBGC doesn't take responsibility for multiemployer plans; instead, we send financial assistance to plans that have run out of money to pay promised benefits. During FY 2013, PBGC paid $89 million in financial assistance to 44 multiemployer pension plans covering the benefits of nearly 50,000 retirees. An additional 21,000 people in these plans will receive benefits when they retire.
If you're a participant in a National Steel pension plan, you may have received a communication claiming that PBGC is conducting a general review of the benefit amounts paid to National Steel participants.
Please be assured that this is not the case. PBGC did not send out any such communication, and is not reviewing National Steel benefits.
We are confident that your pension benefit has been determined accurately and that you are receiving the maximum amount you are entitled to under law.
If you have any questions or receive additional false information purporting to come from PBGC, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-400-7242.
Did you recently receive an Annual Funding Notice? Wondering what it means?
Annual Funding Notices keep you (pension plan participants) informed about the financial status of your pension plan.
Now, you're probably wondering why you received the letter. The answer is simple. You received the letter because employers are required to send an Annual Funding Notice each year to everyone covered by their pension plan.
The notice provides you with information about:
- How well your pension plan is funded
- The value of your pension plan's assets and liabilities
- How your pension plan's assets are invested
- The legal limits on how much PBGC can pay if your pension plan ends
The bottom line is there is no need to panic. The notice does not mean that your pension plan is ending or that PBGC is taking over payment of your benefit. While PBGC insures your pension, the pension plan remains under the sponsorship of your employer. PBGC does not have any specific information about your benefit.
For questions about your funding notice, pension plan, or individual benefit, please contact your pension plan administrator, not PBGC. PBGC only has information about pension plans that have ended. You can find contact information for the pension plan administrator in the annual funding notice or through the employer sponsoring the plan, typically via the human resources office.
Additional information is available on our Annual Funding Notice for Defined Benefit Pension Plans page.