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A court decision this week will help PBGC keep employers accountable for pension plans, even when the employer is foreign-owned.

In 2007 Japanese company Asahi Tec bought Metaldyne, a Michigan auto parts maker. When Metaldyne went bankrupt in 2009, we asked Asahi Tec to step up and assume the pensions of Metaldyne’s 10,000 workers and retirees. Asahi Tec refused.

To protect Metaldyne retirees, we moved right away to become trustee of the pension plan.

And to get Asahi Tec to meet its responsibilities, we took the matter to court. Asahi Tec sought to dismiss the case, claiming that PBGC did not have jurisdiction over the Japanese firm.

On March 14, a U.S. District Court threw out Asahi Tec’s motion to dismiss. Judge Amy Berman Jackson noted that the company had already acknowledged U.S. jurisdiction in another case. And that Asahi Tec understood it was responsible for the pensions when it bought Metaldyne. “There is no question that the foreign company not only acquired a U.S. subsidiary but that it did so with its eyes wide open,” she wrote. Read the judge’s decision on our Legal Filings and Decisions page.

The way is now clear for PBGC to pursue the case on behalf of Metaldyne’s retirees.

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