The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s mission is to protect the pension benefits of American workers and retirees in private sector pension plans. When pension plans terminate with insufficient funds, PBGC’s guarantee is critical to protecting the participants’ retirement security. See Questions and Answers for Participants in the Sears Holdings Corporation Pension Plans.
PBGC has been working with Sears for several years to improve the funding of the company’s two defined benefit pension plans. PBGC expects that its guarantees would cover the vast majority of benefits earned under those Sears plans. If circumstances require, we are prepared to step in and provide PBGC-guaranteed benefits. The plans, which cover about 90,000 workers and retirees, are underfunded by about $1.5 billion.
PBGC protects the pension benefits of nearly 37 million Americans in private-sector pension plans. The agency operates two separate insurance programs — one covering pension plans sponsored by a single-employer and another covering multiemployer pension plans, which are sponsored by more than one employer and maintained under collective bargaining agreements. PBGC is currently responsible for the benefits of about 1.5 million people in failed pension plans. PBGC receives no taxpayer dollars. Its operations are financed by insurance premiums, investment income, and, for the Single-Employer Program, assets and recoveries from failed single-employer plans. For more information, visit PBGC.gov.