Here's what made headlines this week in pension news:
After a speech at the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Annual Conference, PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum was quoted in three articles:
Business Insurance publishes "American Airlines freezes its pension plans."
Washington Jewish Week prints "B'nai B'rith 170 years old and still strong."
In anticipation of the potential for Hurricane Sandy to shut down payment processing centers, the agency started sending checks days ahead of our regular schedule.
About 140,000 benefit payment checks are sent from our offices to benefit payees on a monthly basis. With Hurricane Sandy making a strong impact in our region, there is some risk that delivery of those checks may be delayed.
What we're doing: We're seeking more detail about how far into the distribution process the checks got over the weekend. We're also monitoring the USPS website to assess the impact of Post Office closings to PBGC payees. We will also provide data to the Customer Contact Center (1-800-400-7242) if there are major impacts.
On the other hand, there are no delays for those with direct deposit. We strongly encourage everyone who receives their benefit via check to switch to direct deposit through MyPBA (My Pension Benefit Account). It's timely, safe & secure.
Here’s what made headlines this week in pension news:
Both Pensions & Investments and PLANSPONSOR.COM write about the Pension Rights Center in “Pension Rights Center asks for moratorium on lump-sum payments” and “Pension Rights Center Wants Halt on De-Risking.”
The Wichita Business Journal publishes “PBGC files $2.8M tax lien against Hawker retirement contributor.”
Often times, people don't know what the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is, or what we do. Unfortunately, many find out about us when we have to assume responsibility for their pension plans either by way of company bankruptcy or the company's inability to pay retirement benefits.
A quick history lesson: On September 2, 1974, President Ford signed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), creating a federal pension insurance program and an agency — the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation — to run it. The agency was created to encourage the continuation and maintenance of private-sector defined benefit pension plans, provide timely and uninterrupted payment of pension benefits, and keep pension insurance premiums at a minimum.
Now that you know how we got started, we'd like to tell you a little about how we operate.
As our director Josh Gotbaum likes to put it, PBGC is similar to the FDIC, but instead of protecting depositors of insured banks, we protect pensions.
FACT: We protect the retirement incomes of more than 44 million American workers in more than 27,500 private-sector defined benefit pension plans.
So, what's a defined benefit plan?
FACT: A defined benefit plan provides a specified monthly benefit at retirement, often based on a combination of salary and years of service.
FACT: We are not funded by general tax revenues.
So, how is the revenue generated?
FACT: We collect insurance premiums from employers that sponsor insured pension plans, earn money from investments, and receive funds from pension plans we take over.
Visit our Web site to learn more about who we are and how we operate.
PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum sat down with his two new management hires — Diane Braunstein and Philip R. Langham — and members of the press. The reason: to announce Braunstein's and Langham's new roles and plans at the agency.
Braunstein will create the agency's up-and-coming Department of Quality Management. As the department's director, her focus will be on best practices for the agency, especially in the benefits department.
Langham was recently named the agency's new Benefits Administration and Payments Department director. With a few weeks in his new role, Langham is leading the improvements to ensure accurate pension plan valuations.
With decades of helping to shore up retirement security, both department directors are ready to support the agency's mission.
Read the full press release to learn more about the new directors.