Federal shutdown won't affect PBGC; Treasury makes plans

The potential shutdown of the federal government at 12:01 a.m. EDT Saturday won't affect the PBGC, while the Treasury Department is still determining what effects the closing will have on its operations.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. “will be open for business,” spokesman J. Jioni Palmer said in a telephone interview. He said the operating costs and salaries at the PBGC are paid through insurance premiums and plan assets, not taxpayer dollars.

The PBGC stayed open during government shutdowns in the 1990s, Mr. Palmer said, and “this will be no different.”

“We will continue to pay benefits to retirees who depend on us,” he said. “We will do all of our other work and honor our obligations to our employees and contractors.”

The U.S. Department of Treasury will continue to provide “core functions” but the details on staff reductions and operational procedures during a shutdown are still unknown.

“Treasury's operational plans are still being finalized, but … core functions necessary to maintain our nation's financial systems and economic security will continue, including management of the government's cash position, our borrowing and debt programs and processing of electronically filed tax returns,” a Treasury spokeswoman, who asked to not be identified, said in an e-mail. “We still believe there is an opportunity to avoid a government shutdown but are working to ensure that we are prepared for all possible scenarios.”

Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama on Thursday continued to work on a budget deal to keep government operations going for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

Spokesmen for the SEC, Department of Labor and CFTC could not be reached for comment.