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Questions and Answers for Participants in the J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Pension Plan

Last updated on December 15, 2020

PBGC is working with J.C. Penney to protect the interests of the plan’s current and future retirees. At this time, J.C. Penney continues to pay retirement benefits for pension plan participants. For specific participant benefit information, please contact the J.C. Penney Benefits Center at 1-888-890-8900 or visit JCP Benefits.

For general information about PBGC, visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Who is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)?

PBGC is a federal agency created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to protect pension benefits in private-sector defined benefit plans - the kind that typically pay a set monthly amount at retirement. If a pension plan is insured by PBGC and it ends without sufficient money to pay all benefits, PBGC's insurance program will pay benefits provided by the pension plan up to the limits set by law.

PBGC receives no taxpayer dollars. Its operations are financed by insurance premiums, investment income, and assets and recoveries from failed single-employer plans

Whom should J.C. Penney participants contact with questions about their pension benefits?

J.C. Penney continues to pay retirement benefits for the pension plan participants.

Please contact the J.C. Penney Benefits Center at 1-888-890-8900 or visit JCP Benefits:

  • for service about a J.C. Penney pension benefit that you are already receiving or
  • to apply for J.C. Penney pension benefits.

Customer Service is available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Central Time.

Is the J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Pension Plan insured by PBGC?

Yes. PBGC insures the J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Pension Plan defined benefit pension plan.

Are the benefits provided by J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Savings, Profit-Sharing and Stock Ownership Plan covered by PBGC insurance?

No. The J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Savings, Profit-Sharing and Stock Ownership Plan is an individual account plan. PBGC's insurance does not cover individual account plans.

Did the J.C. Penney Corporation’s bankruptcy filing terminate the pension plan?

No. The J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Pension Plan remained ongoing and under the responsibility of J.C. Penney Corporation. While underfunded pension plans often terminate during bankruptcy proceedings, a company's bankruptcy filing by itself does not terminate a pension plan.

What happens after a pension plan is terminated and then transferred to PBGC?

After an underfunded pension plan (a plan that does not have enough money to pay all benefits) terminates and subsequently is transferred to PBGC, we notify plan participants and beneficiaries as well as provide specific information about their plan and PBGC.

Retirees and beneficiaries who are already receiving a pension will continue to receive payments without interruption in the annuity form that they chose at retirement.

Future retirees and beneficiaries will receive payments after becoming eligible and applying for pension benefits.

At this time, J.C. Penney remains responsible for administering benefits from the J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Pension Plan.

Can I earn additional benefits after my plan terminates?

No. You cannot earn additional pension benefits under a plan after the plan terminates.

J.C. Penney purchased annuities for many participants in 2015 and earlier. Would a plan termination affect those prior benefits that were purchased?

No. The termination of the pension plans would not affect prior purchased annuities. They would continue to be paid by the insurance company who is responsible for those benefits.