In recent weeks, the volume of phone traffic has increased at the Customer Contact Center, which has led to unacceptably long wait times. We apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this has caused our customers and their family members.
We are taking immediate steps in an effort to improve our service provided through the Customer Contact Center by doing the following:
- Expanding the hours of operation to include Saturdays. Contact center hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. On Saturdays, the center will be able to assist you with routine requests and inquiries. Non-routine requests and inquiries will be referred to our Field Benefits Office for timely resolution.
- Adding contact center staff to assist with increased call volumes.
- Working on enhancements to increase the capabilities of the online MyPBA portal. Currently, there are many transactions you can complete online including:
View/print copies of your 1099-R
Change contact information
Check payment status
Print Income Verification Letters
Request a benefits estimate
Apply for benefits
To avoid waiting on the phone, you may wish to create a MyPBA account or submit your request via email at email@example.com.
At PBGC, we remain dedicated to offering the best customer service for America's workers, retirees, and their families.
If you receive a benefit from PBGC, we report the amount annually to the IRS and we'll send you a Form 1099-R. The 1099-R is designed specifically for people receiving benefit payments from pensions, annuities, retirement or profit-sharing plans, IRAs, and other similar accounts. Keep in mind that if 2016 was the first year PBGC took responsibility for your pension plan's payments, you may receive two Form 1099-Rs: one from the prior plan administrator for the payments they issued, and one from PBGC for the payments we made.
This year, PBGC mailed Form 1099-Rs to participants in January. If you would like an electronic version, your 1099-R is now available in MyPBA. MyPBA is our online tool that lets you view or change your tax withholdings along with a number of other benefit transactions. If you haven't used MyPBA recently, we encourage you to log in before you plan to do your taxes to ensure your account is active.
If you have not received your Form 1099-R, you can download it by logging on to MyPBA or by requesting a duplicate. For more information visit our Contact Us page.
While PBGC is required to withhold federal income tax, we do not withhold state taxes. If your state has an income tax, you may owe tax on your PBGC benefit. To find out more, contact your state tax office.
Reminder about the Health Coverage Tax Credit
We also want to remind you that you might be eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit. HCTC is an IRS tax credit for health care insurance premiums. Certain individuals ages 55 to 65 and receiving benefits from PBGC are eligible. For assistance on how to claim your HCTC, visit the IRS page at Health Coverage Tax Credit. The IRS also has a toll-free number for assistance on HCTC at (844) 853-7210.
Starting February 25 through April 29, 2017, PBGC's Customer Contact Center will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST to meet high call volume and reduce wait times. The Customer Contact Center can be reached at (800) 400-7242.
During Saturday hours, customer service representatives will be able to perform these services only:
• Contact information change (such as address, telephone, or email)
• Payment destination change (such as start, stop, or change direct deposit)
• Request income verification letter
• Request reprint of 1099-R
• MyPBA password reset
For all other pension benefit related questions and inquiries you may mail your request to PBGC; Office of Benefits Administration; P.O. Box 151750; Alexandria, VA 22315-9923, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax us at 202-326-4047. PBGC will respond to your letter, email or fax within 5-10 business days.
Our customer surveys show us that many visitors to PBGC.gov are looking for an estimate of their retirement benefit. We'd love to provide an instant benefit estimate via MyPBA, but it takes our trained pension experts time to carefully evaluate your personal benefit situation in order to give you an accurate estimate.
Calculating pension benefit estimates is complicated because each plan has its own rules, provisions and benefit formulas. No two plans are the same! After we determine the plan's benefits, we apply legal limits to your individual benefit. We want to make sure we're paying all the benefits you're due, up to the legal limit. More...
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...
PBGC actuaries completed a study of risk transfer events (RTEs) in pension plans. Risk transfer, also known as "de-risking," is how companies eliminate their pension benefit obligations. In a risk transfer, a company either pays off participants with a lump sum or buys annuities from insurance companies to replace the company pension.
The study looked at patterns in the data on Form 5500s that pension plan sponsors filed with the government from 2009 - 2013. By using those patterns, the actuaries identified companies that had recent risk transfers.
PBGC is interested in these events because:
- Lower insurance premium payments may affect PBGC's long-term financial condition.
- Past risk transfer activity can help project future activity and help PBGC plan for its effects.
- Participants may elect to receive lump sums. If so, policy makers will want to ensure they have the correct tools to manage their funds wisely.