Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Explanation of Pension Benefits Guarantee Corp

I apologize for making the assumption that younger folks all know what PBGC is and does. And what was happening with Delphi relative to their pension fund as a part of the bankruptcy action. Since the pension funds, if not fully funded, cannot be considered assets, they become liabilities and whoever buys the company necessarily buys both assets and liabilities. Logically, who wants to buy liabilities? With GM's relationship with Delphi it was necessary to come to an agreement which would put Delphi into the PBGC arena making the bankruptcy of GM move along as quickly as it did.

The Pension Benefits Guarantee Corp. was enacted into law in the mid-seventies and the largest, so far, has been the United Airlines debt. This fund has saved many a family who had depended on a pension as a part of their retirement income and continues to do so. When a company or union pension funding falls below 80% they are usually considered "endangered" and if below 65% are considered in the "critical" status and are required to come up with a plan to get off probation within ten years. Many companies have shown declines in recent years which cannot all be blamed on the stock market and therefore we have many who are in trouble. And, as you know, bankruptcy has become commonplace recently, so guess what? PBGC is underfunded and will add to the deficit in relatively short order.

That's where the part of the post having to do with the unions came in. We were talking about retirement benefits, not wages/salaries. The union hierarchy having so much better benefits than their members was the point of the SEIU story and yes, I guess I was telling two stories at the same time and it may have been confusing.
Again, sorry. (I don't know enough about SEIU to explain the connection between them and ACORN. Perhaps someone can clue us in.)

Tomorrow we'll talk a little about Charlie Rangel's brush with the IRS, but not all of it has to do with the resort property. His Harlem property and its uses are as scandalous or more so.

See ya tomorrow-
God bless............

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