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PBGC Blog: Retirement Matters

(L to R) Joyce Mader, Advisory Committee Chair; Regina T. Jefferson, Committee Member; and Alice Maroni, PBGC Acting Director.

Regina T. Jefferson is the newest member of PBGC's Advisory Committee; she was nominated by President Obama on July 15. And today, she attended her first Advisory Committee meeting.

Jefferson is a professor of law at the Catholic University of America where she teaches courses in Federal Income Taxation, ERISA: Pensions Tax Policy, and Partnership Taxation.

"Regina's authority on pension and tax laws, and employee benefits will be a significant addition to the Advisory Committee," said PBGC Acting Director Alice Maroni. "We look forward to working with her in the days ahead."

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The vital role PBGC plays in providing retirement security is highlighted in our 2014 state-by-state pension plan information. As the map shows, our economic reach spans across all 50 states and U.S. Territories. For example, PBGC paid $101 million to retirees in Colorado, and $287 million to retirees in Indiana.

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Do you receive a benefit from PBGC? If so, all or a portion of your benefit may be taxable. Each year, we report this information to the IRS and send you an IRS Form 1099-R that details the amount you received the previous year.

We'll mail your 2014 Form 1099-R to your address on file by Monday, February 2, 2015. If you don't receive your form soon after February 2, 2015, you may request a duplicate. Here's how:

  • Use our online service, MyPBA, to view and print a copy of your 1099-R tax form for the most recent tax year.
  • Call PBGC's Customer Contact Center to request a form by mail. The number is 1-800-400-7242.

When calling, remember to have your customer ID (PDF) or Social Security number, plan name and case number to help expedite the request.  

While PBGC is required to withhold federal income tax, we do not withhold for 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.

For additional information, see our Frequently Asked Questions on IRS Form 1099-R.

Last Friday marked the official start of the 2014 holiday shopping season. And today, as many gear up to score "Cyber Monday's" best deals, many Americans are still struggling. And that includes a number of PBGC's customers. That struggle is reflected in the increased number of inquiries we have received about loans or payment increases.

PBGC does not have the authority to make loans. If you are not yet retired, however, you will have several options as to how your benefit can be paid. Options include different benefit levels for your surviving spouse or other beneficiaries. "Your PBGC Benefit Options" provides more information about these options for meeting your financial needs.

While Congress provided for cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security benefits, it did not establish similar measures for PBGC payments. Your benefit amount will not increase with inflation.

We know how important every penny is these days, so know that you can count on PBGC to pay you the maximum amount allowable by law, and that your payment will be made on time every month.

PBGC: A Year in Review

  |   November 18, 2014

With members of Congress, President Gerald R. Ford signed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act(ERISA) of 1974 on Monday, September 2, 1974. ERISA established the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

On Sept. 2, PBGC celebrated its 40th year of protecting pensions. And yesterday, PBGC released its FY 2014 Annual Report, highlighting the agency's accomplishments and areas for improvement. The review period covers Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014.

PBGC's deficit increased to $62 billion in FY 2014, up from $36 billion the year before. The deficit increase is largely driven by the declining financial condition of a few multiemployer plans. The deficit in the multiemployer program grew to $42.4 billion, compared with $8.3 billion last year.  This increase is largely due to the fact that several additional multiemployer plans are now expected to run out of money within the next decade. But the single-employer program's deficit saw an improvement and dropped to $19.3 billion, down from $27.4 billion in 2013.

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As more of our customers seek online service, we continue to look for ways to make our website easier to navigate. The following tools will help you reach your online destination quickly and easily:

  • A-Z index: Similar to the index in the back of a book, this feature lists the name of every page and our most popular documents. If you're not sure where you found that page you were reading last week, here's where you can track it down.
  • Search: This improved page links you to our most popular pages, such as the unclaimed pension search page. You can also use the search bar at the top of every page to search the entire site. Need help getting started? Visit our Search Help page for tips.
  • Glossary: We aim to write in plain language, but in the complicated world of pension benefits, sometimes a technical term is needed. For that reason, we've included a glossary of technical terms.

Links to these and other key features, such as FAQs, Spanish content, and contact information, are located at the top of every page.

But wait, there's more! We also have tools to help you determine if you're in the right place, and if not, where else to look.

Our New to PBGC page explains what we do. Our Finding a Lost Pension page helps track down a pension from your past, and our External Resources page provides channels for further pension information.

We hope you'll have a look around, see some things of interest, and maybe even tell your friends. Happy surfing!