The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of 44.1 million American workers in 30,330 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. A defined benefit plan provides a specified monthly benefit at retirement, often based on a combination of salary and years of service.
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. Defined benefit pension plans promise to pay a specified monthly benefit at retirement, commonly based on salary and years on the job.
PBGC is not funded by general tax revenues. PBGC collects insurance premiums from employers that sponsor insured pension plans, earns money from investments and receives funds from pension plans it takes over.
PBGC pays monthly retirement benefits, up to a guaranteed maximum, to about 683,000 retirees in 3,595 pension plans that ended. Including those who have not yet retired and participants in multiemployer plans receiving financial assistance, PBGC is responsible for the current and future pensions of about 1,296,000 people.
The maximum pension benefit guaranteed by PBGC is set by law and adjusted yearly. For plans ended in 2005, workers who retire at age 65 can receive up to $3,801.14 a month ($45,613.68 a year). The guarantee is lower for those who retire early or when there is a benefit for a survivor. The guarantee is increased for those who retire after age 65.
Jobs at PBGC
PBGC is a federal agency with approximately 800 employees. PBGC staff include accountants; actuaries; attorneys; auditors; budget, financial and management analysts; information technology specialists; pension law and public affairs specialists; administrative personnel; and many more. Every PBGC employee plays an important role in PBGC’s mission of protecting America’s pensions.
PBGC is committed to the principle that its personnel actions for all employees and applicants for employment shall be based on merit without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, or disability, except where required by law. These actions include, but are not limited to: recruitment, selection and hiring, performance ratings, awards, training, promotion, termination, compensation, and fringe benefits. The agency's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office develops and administers PBGC's EEO and affirmative employment programs. The EEO Manager routinely reviews personnel policies and practices to ensure a discrimination free work environment.