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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of over 34 million American workers in private sector defined benefit pension plans. PBGC was created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to encourage the continuation and maintenance of private sector defined benefit pension plans, provide timely and uninterrupted payment of pension benefits, and keep pension insurance premiums at a minimum.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement benefits of over 34 million workers and retirees. PBGC operates two separate insurance programs — the Single-Employer and Multiemployer Insurance Programs.  By law, the Multiemployer and Single-Employer Programs are operated and financed separately.  Assets from one program cannot be used to support the other program.  SMACNA member firms participate in the Multiemployer Insurance Program.  Review PBGC’s Annual Report outlining the financial position of PBGC’s Single Employer Program and the Multiemployer Program. 

A multiemployer plan is a pension plan created through an agreement between employers and a union. The employers are usually in the same or related industries. For example, multiemployer plans provide benefits for people in industries, like construction. The Multiemployer Program protects about 10.9 million workers and retirees in about 1,400 private sector, defined benefit pension plans. In FY 2020, PBGC provided financial assistance through loans to failed multiemployer plans so that the plan can pay benefits, up to legal limits, to about 79,600 retirees in over 90 plans.

PBGC is headed by a Director who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  Gordon Hartogensis is the 16th Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.  

The Board of Directors consists of the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce and Treasury, with the Secretary of Labor as Chair.

Latest News

SMACNA WEBINAR:   Discussion of NCCMP and SMACNA's regulatory priorities in the implementation of The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) OF 2021  

SMACNA Chapters and Members received up-to-date information on relief and rescue provisions for multiemployer plans allowed by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  The new law provides help for:  

  • Plans with funding issues created by the pandemic
  • Plans inalterably headed to insolvency

Mariah M. Becker, MAAA, EA, Director of Research and Education at National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP), joined Erykka Thompson, SMACNA Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs and Joye Blanscett, SMACNA Director of Labor Services to:

  • Outline the key provisions in ARPA applicable to our multiemployer plans;
  • Explain which multiemployer plans will be able to take advantage of relief granted under the ARPA as well as the special financial assistance available to a deeply troubled plans; and
  • Discuss what NCCMP and SMACNA's priorities are in the regulatory processes around the ARPA & Pension Plans.

Watch the webinar.

To read more about PBGC’s actions on the multiemployer provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), go to