PBGC runs two pension insurance programs: single-employer and multiemployer. While each program is designed to protect pension benefits when plans fail, they differ significantly in the level of benefits guaranteed, the insurable event that triggers the guarantee, and premiums paid by insured plans. The two programs are financially separate. Assets of one program may not be used to pay obligations of the other. Here's a deeper look into both programs.
The single-employer program covers pension plans that are sponsored by one employer. The insurable event triggering PBGC's obligation to provide guaranteed benefits is termination of an underfunded plan. This typically happens when the employer sponsoring the plan goes out of business or bankrupt, and can no longer afford to keep the plan going. When this happens, PBGC takes over the plan's assets, administration and payment of plan benefits (up to the legal limit). More...
Here at PBGC, it's our hope that you're using every week to plan for your retirement. But if not, this week, April 13 - 17, is a good time to start. That's because this week is National Retirement Planning Week (NRPW)!
Recognized in April, during financial literacy month, NRPW represents a national effort to help consumers focus on their financial needs during retirement. This effort is led by the National Retirement Planning Coalition - a group of prominent education, consumer advocacy and financial services organizations charged with educating Americans on the importance of retirement planning.
In coming years, more than half of workers and retirees in terminated multiemployer plans will face a reduction in benefits under current PBGC guarantees if their plans run out of money, according to PBGC's Multiemployer Guarantee study (PDF) released earlier today.
This study takes a closer look at how the guarantee limits will impact the pension income of workers and retirees in multiemployer plans that will receive financial assistance from PBGC.
In the past, only about 20 percent of workers and retirees saw a reduction in their benefit - typically that loss represented about 10 percent of their promised benefit. This study finds that these losses are both likely to apply to more people and likely to be larger in percentage terms as more multiemployer plans run out of money and require financial assistance from the agency.
PBGC will pay retirement benefits for more than 1,600 current and future retirees at Hovensa LLC, which owns an oil refinery and oil storage terminal in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The agency is stepping in because Hovensa plans to close its operations and the pension plan will be abandoned. The Hovensa Employees' Pension Plan will end as of Feb. 4, 2015.
PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by the plan's retirees up to the legal limit of $60,136 a year for a 65-year-old.
Retirees will continue to get benefits without interruption, and future retirees can apply for benefits as soon as they are eligible.