The PBGC took over the underfunded cash balance plan of Penn Traffic Co., Syracuse, N.Y. The supermarket chain, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection on May 30, 2003, will continue to operate four other defined benefit plans. Penn Traffic, which sought Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. permission to shut down its underfunded pension plans since Nov. 21, 2003, had cash balance plan assets of $84 million and liabilities of $210 million, according to PBGC estimates.
Separately, the PBGC hired SEI Investments to provide financial modeling and analysis to help the agency more accurately predict the impact of economic, market and policy changes on plan funding and plan sponsors' financial condition, confirmed Jeffrey Speicher, spokesman for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. He declined to provide additional details but said SEI would help the agency "gear up to confront the challenges it faces not just in the context of (pension) reform" but also managing its own business. Using SEI's PensionConnect 360 modeling analysis system, the PBGC will seek to better determine the impact of pension finance on overall corporate finance.