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Registrars Providers Countries Contact PageAdviser Registrars Providers Countries Contact Pbgc.com Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp - PBGC Protects America's Pensions The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of more than 41 million American workers in more than 24,000 private-sector defi...

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Share Share Share Last Updated 2 years ago Update IP Address: 208.68.129.20 Country: United States (US) Meta Title: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp - PBGC Protects America's Pensions Meta Description: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of more than 41 million American workers in more than 24,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. Meta Keywords: PBGC, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Pension, PBGC.gov, Unclaimed Pension, Retirement, Retirees, Retirement Matters Server Location

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Leq6dV6/FJlhoOxjHUbTM9EjHu8SB3TDWhRTmz88UegLN3CmjqWfmMf0 fiuThyeM50wHyFB+QBcFFFXameOhWUMhiM1W9BfcIPvLg0fIwDBOjekQ tKnYESqm2DQg2h3QqAs96BQ9dtGSVIbwDYAWaJyMIOS7K5lKwhP6DaTO ghQXX9kVYr68XLoT8CS1kr1h4NALChCe9EW/6Mc91caJe2JoAMj7WN8Y vq6XCIzU2SOHEkGJ3DCeZ/+Yt3scWdUSkDpBsHw2to0Q2wSHUBE9JroN gqcdwvaJ4tbcZGxyj3lO7cM3uFH8+Jyu0ZRkTMN0iKscUhhldbXtRAxV UByLSg== Heading Analysis H1 (1) H2 (4) H3 (7) H4 (16) Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation HEALTH COVERAGE TAX CREDIT Read Our 2015 Annual Report CHECK OUT THE 2015 RETIREE NEWSLETTER Read the latest on form 1099-R For Workers & Retirees Is Your Pension Insured? For Practitioners Sign Up for Email Updates Frequently Asked Questions Fact Sheets Open Government MyPBA Not Sure Where to Start? About Your Pension Benefit Find Your Pension Plan Find An Unclaimed Pension Updates Worth Noticing My PAA Interest Rates and Factors Rules and Regulations Contact Us What We Do Who We Are Data About PBGC Foreign Language Services Contact Us News & Highlights Whois Information

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Registrant Name: Chip Gallo Registrant Organization: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation HTTP Header Analysis

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Status-Code: 200 Response Time: 596 Content-Length 29189 Content-Type text/html Server Microsoft-IIS/7.0 X-Powered-By ASP.NET Date Sat, 19 Dec 2015 15:33:11 GMT Go to top Reverse Ip

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Mont Blanc Fountain Pens Sale Aletho News ΑΛΗΘΩΣ The Real Causes—and Real Solutions— to the U.S. Pensions Crisis By Jack Rasmus | Talking Union | July 3, 2012

A pension crisis of major dimensions is growing in the US across all three forms of defined benefit plans (DBPs)—public, private single employer, and private multi-employer plans.

Corporate America and its political friends have begun to use the economic crisis that commenced in 2007 as an opportunity to initiate and expand yet another offensive aimed at further undermining defined benefit pensions in the U.S. Having already begun in 2009-10 with a new attack by governors on public employees’ pension plans, the Corporate Offensive over the subsequent eighteen months has expanded to include new coordinated attacks on private sector multi-employer and single employer DBPs as well.

Contrary to corporate, press and politicians’ claims, the crisis in pensions has had nothing to do with pension benefit increases for the workers. In many cases pension benefits have been frozen or actually reduced over the past decade and especially so since 2008.

Rather the crisis is directly attributable to government and corporate policies that have been implemented over the past thirty years—including, but not limited to, two decades of government encouraged management practices reducing pension funding, stagnant jobs and wage growth since 2001, massive speculative investment losses by pension funds, the collapse of the economy, jobs, and pension contributions after 2007, and the failure of the US economic recovery to restore jobs and wages the past three years, 2009-12.

Brief Overview of the Pensions Funding Gap

Multi-employer defined benefit pensions in the 1990s averaged shortfalls in funding (i.e. ratio of assets to liabilities) of only a very manageable $30 billion throughout the decade.

A 2009 Report by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, the quasi-government agency responsible for ensuring pension funds stability and solvency in the private sector, had a funding shortfall of $355 billion. A similar scenario applies to ratios and shortfalls in funding for single employer pensions, with funding shortfalls of approximately $407 billion. The highly respected Pew Center’s 2008 estimated public sector pensions gap for 2008 of $452 billion.

But the shortfalls in all the defined benefit pensions are overwhelming the result of economic conditions, government policies, and corporate practices over the past 12 years. In 1999, state public employee pensions were 103% funded, according to the Pew Center. Similarly, private pensions—multi-employer as well as single employer—were in good shape at the beginning of 2000. Whatever has happened is therefore clearly a consequence of events and policies since 2000.

Employers sense an opportunity today to falsify the facts regarding the causes of defined benefit pension shortfalls, and to use that falsification to attack and dismantle what’s left of defined benefit pensions that now cover barely 18% of the workforce compared to three decades ago when the percentage of coverage was two thirds or more. What facts are being conveniently ignored in this new corporate offensive?

Corporate Manipulation of the Pension Funding Gap

Corporations have not hesitated to take advantage of the funding gap that they themselves have largely created, with the help of compliant politicians.

On the multi-employer side, the employer new offensive is evident in a series of banks’ reports claiming the funding gap is even greater than it is. By making extreme low-ball assumptions on returns, banks’ research departments and corporations argue the gap for multi-employer plans is significantly higher than even the PBGC has estimated. Their conclusion is major reductions in pension benefits are therefore required, even though pension benefit payments are not the source of the problem.

This strategy of overestimation of the funding gap, cherry-picking the worst assumptions and then extrapolating the losses in a straight line out for decades, has been adopted as well by governors and state politicians intent on cutting pension benefit payments to resolve a crisis workers did not create.

A typical, extreme case is New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, who over-exaggerates an estimated $2.5 trillion funding gap in 2010—i.e. six times greater than that estimated by the respected Pew Center. Christie’s answer to the shortfall in New Jersey is a massive gutting of public employee pension benefits. However, Christie conveniently hides the fact that his state, New Jersey, only made 31% of the required contributions to its employee pension fund in 2009, thus contributing significantly to its relatively low funding ratio of 66%. Like Christie, governors complaining the most about State pension funding gaps are typically those who created those gaps by refusing repeatedly to make the required contributions to their pension funds in the first place.

Single Employer Pension funds are also under a similar direct attack, exemplified by the latest efforts of American Airlines to project massive losses in its fund as a way to justify dumping it on the PBGC and thereby shedding $9 billion in contributions it should have made, but didn’t, for decades. American Airlines for decades has been one of the most egregious practicers of ‘pension contribution holidays’, refusing year after year to make legally required contributions to its fund, and thereby ensuring it would be under-funded.

Fundamental Causes of the Pension Funding Crisis

The deterioration in defined benefit pensions over the past decade has had virtually nothing to do with providing more generous benefits for workers. Nor is it the case that workers are retiring in greater numbers all at once. The causes of the pension shortfalls are due to reductions in employer contributions to the pension funds for multiple reasons, to speculative investments gone bad and massive losses in pension funds over the preceding decade, a major collapse in jobs since 2000 due to repeated and protracted recessions, jobless recoveries, and shifting of jobs offshore that have further undermined total pension fund contributions, and government policies since 2008 that have ensured pension fund returns on investment are reduced to below-normal historical rates of return..

The following is a partial summary short list of a dozen true causes of shortfalls in defined benefit pension funding.

Two recessions since 2000 and two bouts of ‘jobless recoveries’ (2002-05 and 2009-12) resulting in sharp reductions in contributions to the funds Structural unemployment due to offshoring and free trade that has in addition to #1 progressively reduced jobs and therefore contributions, especially in tech and manufacturing industries Government allowed ‘pension contribution holidays’ that permitted suspension of employer contributions for decades, thus further lowering the contributions base of the funds Employer manipulation of actuarial assumptions, like phony overstated rates of return and projected hirings that never happen, that covered up the shortfalls Government rules that allow the diversion of pension funds to cover 20% of rising employer health care insurance costs De-unionization of the workforce, resulting in employers suspending private pension plan participation for new workers, thus further reducing contributions. Shift in U.S. job markets to part time and temp ‘contingency’ jobs and workers by tens of millions, who are excluded from participating (and thus contributing) to DBPs Legislation and court decisions over the past decade that have promoted 401k plans and conversion to ‘Cash Balance Plans’, diverting contributions to what would have been to defined benefit pension funds. Phony business bankruptcy policies that have permitted easy dumping of pensions on the PBGC, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation that ensures DBPs, encouraging employers to underfund the pensions to create justifications for dumping the pensions. Easing of restrictions allowing companies to leave multi-employer plans and for single employers exiting the PBGC Pension Protection Act of 2006 that allowed pension funds to partner with high-risk speculators like hedge funds, resulting in pension funds’ headlong rush into speculative investing in subprime mortgages and other high risk real estate and financial markets, the consequence of which was massive fund losses in 2000-02 and again in 2008-12. Low rates of return in general over the last decade on investments by pension funds, attributable largely to the protracted recession since 2008 and, even more so, to the Federal Reserve Bank’s still continuing policy of zero interest rates for four consecutive years.

Fundamental Solutions to the Pension Crisis

Pension funds are financial institutions. They perform much like commercial banks by lending to other non-financial institutions.

In 2008-09, the Federal Reserve bailed out the banks to the tune of $9 trillion by providing zero interest loans to banks for the past four years. The Fed also bought up bonds, especially mortgage notes, from the banks at their full value instead of their real depressed market values, thus further directly subsidizing the banks. The Fed in this manner not only bailed out banks and investment banks, but big conglomerates like GE and GM and their credit arms. So why shouldn’t it similarly provide assistance to financial institutions like the pension funds?

Given that the real causes of current pension fund shortfalls are: insufficient contributions by employers, bad investments by fund managers as a result of high risk speculation and losses, government rules allowing the undermining of pensions, and poor rates of return on investments by funds due to government economic policies since 2000—real solutions to the crisis should tackle the real causes.

Therefore, Congress, the President, and the Federal Reserve should:

Provide short term 2 to 5 year bridge loans as needed to pension funds temporarily whose funding falls below 70%–i.e. funding provided at the same rate the Federal Reserve has been bailing out banks for the past four years, at a rate of 0.25% interest. Allow pension funds to issue their own bonds, much like corporations now issue bonds, and the Fed purchase those bonds long term, 10 and 30 years, to provide additional funding as necessary to pension funds. Prohibit pension funds from partnering in investments with hedge funds and other high risk financial institutions and financial instruments. Cities and local municipalities should be reimbursed for losses due to banks’ fraudulent and false promotion of derivatives and interest rate swap deals of the last decade, just as other institutional investors have been reimbursed for fraudulent subprime mortgages deals of recent years. Pension funding contribution holidays should be legally banned. Diversion of pension funds’ resources to subsidize employer health plans should be further prohibited. Corporate bankruptcy laws should be amended to prevent dumping of single employer plans. All non-pension assets in bankruptcy should be ruled subordinate to pension assets, requiring all other assets disposed of before pension funds are considered. Restrictions on employers exiting from multi-employer plans and from the PBGC should be strengthened. Public employee plans’ spending on consultants should be limited by law to no more than 1% of annual contribution levels. Employers should be prohibited from exempting ‘contingent’ workers from participation in plans, and should be required make pension fund contributions for all part time and temporary workers proportional to their total hours worked. Restore jobs and wage growth. The most important long run source of restoration of pension fund solvency is the creation of jobs at an historically acceptable rate. A sustained economic recovery—not the current ‘stop-go’ economy—that would raise rates of return on normal pension fund investments to restore losses of recent years

The crisis in Defined Benefit Plans is a crisis that has been brewing for decades, but that has appreciably worsened since 2000 and significantly further deteriorated after 2007. It is a crisis of falling and insufficient contributions fundamentally and not a crisis of excess liabilities or benefit payments to workers. Employers, both private and public, are now using the crisis they created that reduced contributions for decades to attack benefits. Fundamental solutions to the pension funding problems in DBPs must rectify the source problems on the contributions side of the fund ledger.

  Jack Rasmus is the author of the April 2012 book, “Obama’s Economy: Recovery for the Few”, published by Pluto Books and Palgrave-Macmillan, which includes a final chapter on ‘An Alternative Program for Economic Recovery’.

Related articles States test whether public pension benefits given can be taken away (alethonews) July 13, 2012 Posted by aletho | Economics , Timeless or most popular | Chris Christie , Defined benefit pension plan , Employment , Pension , Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation , Pension fund , United States | Comments Off on The Real Causes—and Real Solutions— to the U.S. Pensions Crisis

Pensions Under Attack By MARK VORPAHL | CounterPunch | July 13, 2012

On Friday, July 6, President Obama signed into law a bill that would renew transportation programs and extend low interest rates on student loans for one year. While this minimal gesture resulted in, no doubt, sighs of relief from those burdened by student debt, tucked away within the bill’s pages was a little-noticed proposal to further erode the funding of workers’ pensions. The bill was a brilliant sleight of hand where what it appeared to be giving with one hand distracted the public from what it was taking away with the other.

Aside from the more publicly known parts of this bill, it also reduced the amount that corporations pay into an already grossly underfunded pension system. The way it achieved this is with a complex equation factoring in interest rates, changes in how businesses calculate what they must contribute to retirement premiums, and how these contributions are tax deductible. The end result of this opaque process of number crunching is that, according to the Society of Actuaries, employer pension contributions will be reduced overall from a mandatory $80 billion to $45 billion this year alone. Next year this amount will be slashed by $73 billion. (1)

While the amount of company pension contributions would increase afterwards, there is no guarantee that this can be counted on to make up for the short-term cuts. Without a fundamental change in the political climate, it can be assumed that this distant increase will be reversed.

Some have said that these employer pension payment deductions will not amount to much given the $1.9 trillion employers have already invested into these plans over the decades. Yet the political importance of this bill cannot be calculated by arithmetic alone. It is another example of a pattern of how politicians have enabled corporations to minimize their responsibility towards their employees’ pensions to the point where the entire system is in danger and the dream of a comfortable retirement is approaching collapse.

How far has the pension system fallen into disrepair? According to The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), the quasi-government agency responsible for retirement funds, the public employees pension was being funded at 103 percent in 1999. The pension funds for the private sector were likewise robust.

By 2008, according to the Pew Center, the public sector pensions were short $452 billion. By 2009 the PBGC reported a funding shortfall of $355 billion and a shortfall of $407 billion for “single employer pensions.”

Why this dramatic change? The corporations, their politicians, and media lay the blame on growing pension costs (though many have been frozen) and an increased number of workers retiring. This is turning the reasons behind the pension system’s shortfall on its head. Fundamentally, the reason for the growing threats to retirement is corporate greed, backed up by their political power, as well as the effects of the economic crisis.

There are numerous examples of how big business and their two parties, the Democrats and Republicans, have colluded to erode their legal responsibility to fund pensions. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 enabled pension funds to partner with high-risk speculators, resulting in massive loses to the system in 2008-2010. Corporations have been allowed to declare phony bankruptcies in order to dump their pensions on the PBGC. They are also allowed to divert funds that should go into pension funds towards covering health care costs as well as buying back company stocks and making dividend payouts to stockholders. The list could go on for the ways the political system lets the corporations off the hook at the cost of threatening workers’ retirement. The effect of these measures is to starve the pension system in order to fatten corporate profits.

In addition, the Great Recession has also had a debilitating effect on pension funding. A jobless recovery means fewer workers able to contribute. If corporations were adequately taxed on the trillions they are hoarding to finance a real jobs program, this would not be a problem. Instead, the corporations and their politicians are pursuing the opposite course. They are using the bad economy to justify making the problem worse by cutting away at company obligations to their workers and their pensions.

The provision of the bill Obama signed into law on July 6th regarding pension funding demonstrates the bipartisan priorities geared towards benefiting corporations at the expense of workers. The public justification for this scheme is that the economy is bad and it wouldn’t help workers if these companies went broke as a result of trying to cover the pension shortfalls.

This is a variation of the same line of argument used to justify all austerity measures. Playing on the assumption of common cause between the economic elite and workers, corporations plead poverty and sermonize on the need for “shared sacrifice.” The truth, however, is that big business isn’t broke. There is plenty of money to assure a comfortable retirement for all workers, not to mention universal health care, social security, and full employment. The problem isn’t fiscal, it’s political. The corporations do not want to pay their fair share, and they own the political system.

Solutions to the pension crisis will not be found within the Democratic or Republican Parties. It will take the force of an independent social movement to make the rich pay. Such a social movement could start with the demands of “Jobs – Not Cuts” “Tax the Rich.” From this starting point, it could mature to take on other issues that unite workers such as a solution to the pension crisis.

What kind of solution could be proposed? A demand that a mass movement can get behind. In order for this to happen the demand would have to solve the crisis, be easily understood to inspire, and make a clear demarcation between the interests of the 99% and 1%. To do this a social movement around the pension crisis should call on the federal government to takeover pensions with a heavy tax on corporations that would ensure that they are fully funded and fine those who have willfully failed to properly pay into their pension funds. Then we could demand that Social Security be strengthened so that it could gradually replace the precarious pensions offered in both the public and private sectors. But demands around pensions should be linked to the more immediately pressing demand for most workers, namely a massive jobs creation program. In this way working people will be united and in a position to mount a massive campaign.

Mark Vorpahl is an union steward, social justice activist, and writer for Workers’ Action –  www.workerscompass.org . He can be reached at  Portland@workerscompass.org .

Notes.

(1) “ New law gives US companies a break on pensions ” by Alan Fram. http://www.dailytribune.com/article/20120709/FINANCE01/120709544/new-law-gives-us-companies-a-break-on-pensions&pager=full_story

Related articles Bipartisan Congressional Majority Agrees to Undermine Pensions – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com) The Real Causes – and Real Solutions – to the U.S. Pensions Crisis (talkingunion.) States test whether public pension benefits given can be taken away (alethonews) July 13, 2012 Posted by aletho | Corruption , Economics , Progressive Hypocrite | Obama , PBGC , Pension , Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation , Pension fund , Pension Protection Act of 2006 | Comments Off on Pensions Under Attack

   

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July 2017 Compliance PBGC Request for Information The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) release a semi-annual regulatory agenda each year. In anticipation of this fall’s agenda, FBGC is requesting information, suggestions, and comments regarding what regulatory or deregulatory actions PBGC should take. Many of these are the same sorts of questions that well-run private organizations ask themselves and their customers.

Questions to Consider In addition to any matters the pubic would like to comment upon, PBGC has developed some questions to consider. Summarized below are those questions:

Are there areas where PBGC can simplify or ease your burton in complying? For example, are there any changes that might be helpful, such as regulatory safe harbors or technological developments? Are there challenges in starting or maintaining pension plans that should be addressed through rulemaking or other guidance? Are there PBGC regulations that could be modernized or have become outdates? What changes might help? Are there existing programs or processes that haven’t operated as well as expected? Why not? Are there regulations that could be streamlined or clarified? Do any either conflict with or duplicate rules and information needed by other agencies like the IRS , DOL or Department of the Treasury? Are there forms or notices that could be stale, unnecessary, or duplicative? Are there PBGC regulations that eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation? Comment Deadline PBGC requests that comments be received on or before August 25, 2017. Comments may be submitted through the website at http://regulations.gov , emailed to reg.comments@pbgc.gov , or mailed or had delivered to Regulatory Affairs Group, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026.

This document is intended to be educational in nature and is not intended to be taken as a recommendation.

The subject matter in this communication is educational only and provided with the understanding that Principal ® is no rendering legal, accounting, investment advice or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, investment or accounting obligations and requirements.

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