The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., in a four-day span earlier this month, announced it had taken over 12 defined benefit plans from a total of four firms that were under bankruptcy protection.
The PBGC on Jan. 11 said it would take over the defined benefit plan of Hartmarx Corp., Chicago, which had been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since Jan. 23, 2009. The Hartmarx Retirement Income Plan faced abandonment because purchasers that acquired Hartmarx assets did not assume responsibility for the plan, the PBGC said.
The plan, terminated on Aug. 7, is 47% funded, with assets of $142.8 million and $306.6 million in liabilities, according to PBGC estimates. The agency expects to be responsible for $158.5 million of the $163.8 million shortfall.
On Jan. 12, the four defined benefit pension plans of Champion Parts Inc., Hope, Ark., were placed under PBGC control. Champion's assets are being liquidated in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings and the plans are being abandoned, the agency said. The plans were terminated on Jan. 25, 2008. Together, the four plans are 66% funded, with assets of $9.3 million and liabilities of $14 million; the PBGC expects to cover $4.6 million of the $4.7 million shortfall.
The PBGC on Jan. 13 said it has taken over six underfunded pension plans sponsored by specialty metal products manufacturer Crucible Materials Corp., Syracuse, N.Y.
The company is liquidating in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and no entity was left to administer or finance the six plans. The plans, which have about 3,600 participants, are a combined 58% funded with $147.1 million in assets and $277.3 million in liabilities, according to the PBGC. The PBGC said it expects to be liable for $106.4 million of the $130.2 million shortfall. The plans were terminated on Jan. 25, 2008.
The agency on Jan. 14 said it took over the defined benefit pension plan of Chesapeake Corp., Richmond, Va., which had sold substantially all of its assets in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The plan also faced abandonment.
The plan is 68% funded, with assets of $43.4 million and liabilities of $63.5 million; the PBGC expects to cover the entire $20.1 million shortfall. The plan was terminated on March 23, the news release said.
Marc Hopkins, PBGC spokes-man, said the PBGC has taken over 58 plans since Oct. 1, the start of its fiscal year, up from the 23 the agency took over during the same period last year.
Reporter Doug Halonen, News Editor Rick Baert and Jerry Geisel, editor-at-large at Business Insurance, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments, contributed to this story.