In an effort to make the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. more "customer friendly" for pension plan sponsors, Executive Director David Strauss, promises to be accessible through virtual town hall meetings.
"Over the past years my experiences with the PBGC were as delightful as my visits to the dentist, but I have seen noticeable changes over the last few months," a Eugene, Ore.-based actuary recently e-mailed Mr. Strauss.
The actuary suggested the PBGC write employer or pension plan names on the receipt postcards the compliance division sends out to acknowledge requests it receives.
Mr. Strauss passed on the e-mail to Joseph Grant, PBGC deputy executive director and chief operating officer, who responded the PBGC has begun implementing the suggestion because it "makes perfect sense."
Mr. Strauss also settled a dispute after receiving a cyberspace complaint about the federal pension insurance agency dinging an employer for getting a form in a few days late, even though it was postmarked before the deadline, but "it had an internal postage meter on it, which (the PBGC) will not accept."
Rather than argue, the employer paid the fine, only to then receive notices from the PBGC for 3 cents of interest. Mr. Strauss referred the matter to two deputy executive directors, one of whom called the e-mail sender and settled the dispute.