2013 Annual Report - PBGC

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PENSION BENEFITGUARANTYC O R P O R AT I O NHELPING SECURERETIREMENTSP BG CA NNUA LREP ORT2 0 1 3

A ME S S AG E F RO M O UR C H AI RThe Obama Administration is dedicated to safeguarding pension benefits and promotingthe retirement security of the millions of America’s workers, retirees, and their families.The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation plays a vital role in the Administration’s effortsto ensure workers have opportunities for secure and dignified retirements. PBGC doesthis by working with employers to preserve their pension plans, insuring pension benefits,and paying guaranteed pension benefits to retirees.On behalf of the PBGC Board of Directors, I am pleased to present the PBGC’s FY 2013 Annual Report,which provides important information about the PBGC’s operations and its finances. The report highlightsmany of the PBGC’s accomplishments over this past fiscal year to preserve plans and protect pensioners, aswell as the PBGC’s future program challenges. In the near term, the PBGC’s programs continue to haveresources that are adequate to pay benefits for years, and participants and retirees can count on the PBGC tobe there to protect their benefits.To address the PBGC’s longer-term challenges, the Administration has again proposed in its 2014 budget tostrengthen the PBGC by reforming its premium authority to ensure that the PBGC has the funds to do itsjob. While legislation enacted in 2012 made some changes that improved PBGC’s financial condition,reforms to PBGC’s premium structure are still needed. At the same time, PBGC is working to strengthen thedefined benefit plan system by encouraging employers to keep their existing plans and reducing regulatoryburdens to better serve its customers.Retirement security is critical to the long-term health of America’s middle class. In September, the Boardselected a Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate who will serve as a liaison for plan sponsors andparticipants, and will advocate on behalf of retirees. My fellow Board members, Treasury Secretary Jack Lewand Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, and I are committed to providing strong oversight and leadership tohelp the PBGC strengthen its programs and work toward a more secure future for America’s workers andretirees.Thomas E. PerezSecretary of LaborChair of the BoardPENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATIONiFY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

A MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTORA G O O D AND CO M P AS S I O N ATE AG E NCYP RO V I DI NG HE L P I N TRO UBL E D TI M E SIn my three years as Director, I have come to think PBGC is one of the most competent andcompassionate agencies in the US government. PBGC has several very complex jobs: PBGCmust learn and apply the specific rules of different pension plans of hundreds of companiesto hundreds of thousands of people. It must decide whether many of the companies that saythey cannot afford their pensions truly cannot. PBGC does these and other complicated jobscompassionately and well.In the pages that follow, you’ll read about some very good work. Serving the people who count on us: When we take responsibility for people’s pensions, their lives havealready been disrupted. We try to provide security — reliably — at a time when people need it. Serving the companies that sponsor plans: In the U.S., private pensions are a voluntary choice byemployers. We’re working to reduce unnecessary burdens on employers, and are making it easier for planadministrators to do their jobs. Working to improve retirement security: We work both to provide more options for a secure retirement,and to help people understand the options they have.But that doesn’t mean PBGC cannot improve. PBGC has not rested. We have worked tirelessly to preserveplans where possible and to cover pensions where not. 130,000 people at American Airlines were told by their management that their pensions would beterminated, that American couldn’t afford to keep them. Thanks in important part to the dedicated andcoordinated efforts of PBGC’s financial analysts, lawyers, and actuaries, American agreed not to do so. Wecontinued to work throughout 2013 to help solve many issues in the case. 10 years ago, more than 800 employees of New Jersey’s Hospital Center at Orange found out theirpensions were no longer insured by PBGC. This year, PBGC worked with the IRS to reverse that, so theywill continue to receive benefits although their plan is almost exhausted. Faced with the possible collapse of multiemployer pension plans covering millions of workers, PBGCstaff is working to understand diverse circumstances of the plans to find ways to preserve those plans andprotect benefits. PBGC continued to work with pensioner advocacy groups to help ensure that people confronted withthe option of giving up their pensions in exchange for lump-sum payments understand the perils of takingthat choice. This past year, we became responsible for the pensions of an additional 57,000 people. We added theseto the 1.5 million people we already serve – and never missed a payment.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATIONiiFY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

MAKING A GOOD AGENCY EVEN BETTEROne of my most important tasks as Director is to ensure that PBGC’s very talented and committedprofessionals have equally talented and committed leaders. We are working hard to bring to PBGC a newgeneration of PBGC management. I’m pleased that we continue to find excellent leaders to advance PBGC’smissions. In the past year, we’ve brought in new leaders in our benefits payment, IT, restructuring, andpolicy research departments. All are energized and have begun to take a fresh look at the agency’s work. Wefollowed up by improving the way we support and train our managers.We’re also making changes to the way we do our work. We’re directly responding to comments on our website and our customer satisfaction scores remain high. We’re proposing to exempt some 90 percent of plans and sponsors from burdens they’d otherwise haveto undertake. In response to complaints from business that our regulatory and enforcement programs weretreating all plans as risky, we studied past history and found that the financial strength of the sponsor, notplan funding levels, was the most important factor. As a result, we’re focusing our efforts on large andfinancially risky sponsors and removing requirements on financially sound sponsors and small businesses. We formed an independent Quality Management Department to foster continuous improvements to ourprocesses and performance. We’re continuing to rethink and reform our basic benefit determination process and organization. We’rechanging many of our processes and training PBGC staff to meet ever higher standards. And we’ve begun torethink and consolidate our use of real estate rental properties.PRESERVING MULTIEMPLOYER PLANSMultiemployer pension plans protect more than 10 million people and their families. Unfortunately, due toeconomic changes and investment market declines, a minority of these plans are in trouble. Although theEmployee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) allows some flexibility to avoid insolvency, for manyplans that won’t be enough. Without additional changes, we project that plans covering hundreds ofthousands of people will fail. Sadly, PBGC’s own funding is itself inadequate to pay benefits if their plansfail.PBGC is working to develop ways to preserve these plans and the benefits they provide. Congress has madeclear its interest in preserving pensions, and we are working with the plans, their unions and employers, otheragencies, and the Congress to help find workable solutions. The next year will be critical to the success ofthese efforts.FUTURE RETIREES WORRYOne of PBGC’s primary missions under ERISA is to “encourage the continuation and maintenance ofvoluntary private pension plans.” It’s an obligation we take seriously. The trends are ominous: Americans today are spending more years in retirement. They’re healthier and more active. That’s greatnews, but, unfortunately, pensions haven’t kept up.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATIONiiiFY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

Many businesses, for competitiveand other reasons, continue to reducetheir support for retirement plans.Some switch from a defined benefit(DB) plan to a defined contribution(DC) plan that costs less and comeswith fewer obligations. Others offerlump-sum cash payments to employeesor retirees to settle the employer’sobligations.45% of private workers have an employerprovided retirement plan, often only a DC plan.Most private workers have no plan. Left on their own, many peoplesave less, invest less well, and plan lesswell. They invest less, they pay higherfees, and they get lower returns. Many employees defer retirement,but still don’t have enough for retirement – and they’re worried. One poll cited by the Senate Health,Education, Labor and Pensions Committee says that 92 percent of people think there is a retirement crisis.They’re right to be concerned.WHAT CAN GOVERNMENT DO?Our workplace retirement system is not provided by government — it’s the shared responsibility ofcompanies and individuals. But government can help — and at PBGC we’re doing our part.Help Preserve the Plans We HaveDefined benefit plans still cover over 35 million active workers in private and public sectors. Tens ofthousands of companies continue to offer DB pensions. Many would like to continue to do so, and we’retrying to help.Even before troubled companies enter bankruptcy, we work to protect their plans. And when companiesenter bankruptcy, we first seek to preserve their plans if possible — as in the case of American Airlines.We also work with the other ERISA agencies to try to make law and regulations more flexible, so fewercompanies feel the need to drop their plans.Allow More Options and Make Them Easier to UseOne size does not fit all. Each company’s situation is different. Some companies are willing to keep DBplans if they can share risks and costs with their employees; hybrid DB/DC approaches could help. Otherswould offer lifetime options if they didn’t also come with permanent obligations.In FY 2012, we published a proposed rule helping to clarify rules governing cash balance plans, which wouldhelp employers to choose them with confidence. We’re working with the other ERISA agencies on these andother ways to increase flexibility and expand options for employers and employees.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATIONivFY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

There are a variety of proposals to expand retirement security options — some at the federal level and someat the state.Recognize That Retirement Will Cost More, Not LessAs more Americans age and live longer, healthier lives, both private and public retirement programs willnecessarily cost more in the future. We must recognize this, and determine the steps that will be necessary topay for them. That doesn’t mean that employers will write blank checks to pay for everything. They won’t.People will have to save more, too, both inside and outside their 401(k) plans.PBGC’S OWN FINANCES MUST BE SOUND, TOOPBGC is funded by assets from trusteed plans and premiums from plan sponsors, not by taxpayer dollars.Unfortunately, our premiums are set in law. They’re both too inflexible — so that some plans are unfairlypaying for the risks of others — and too low toPBGC's Premiums Don't Covercover PBGC’s benefit guarantee levels.The Benefits We PayIn 2003, the Government Accountability Officeadded PBGC to its “High Risk” list of agencies,because we control neither the benefits we paynor the premiums we charge. Congress hasrepeatedly raised PBGC’s premiums, but theyremain too low to fund our obligations. That’swhy, 10 years later, we remain on GAO’s HighRisk List.Although PBGC has a net financial deficit,PBGC still has very substantial assets, and theday when we run out of money is years away.We now project that, absent changes, ourmultiemployer program will be insolvent within10-15 years. PBGC's projections are consistentwith projections made by actuaries of largetroubled plans. That date is being moved up bychanges in pensions and the room formaneuvering is shrinking every year.Administrations of both parties have proposedputting PBGC finances on the same basis asother government insurance programs andprivate insurance, by making PBGC’s Board responsible for setting premiums.PBGC's Deficit Continues to WorsenWithout the tools to set its financial house in order, PBGC may face for the first time the need for taxpayerfunds. That’s a situation no one wants.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATIONvFY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

***In 1974, Congress enacted and the President signed ERISA, landmark legislation designed to preserve andenhance retirement security. Over the four decades since, we’ve seen many changes. The retirement plansof 1974 will not meet the challenges of the 21st century. Congress has repeatedly recognized the need toadapt. It must do so again. We hope in the year ahead that Congress will again act to preserve themultiemployer plans on which tens of millions of people depend, and to allow PBGC to raise the funds itneeds to protect the millions of pensioners who depend on us.Much has changed. What has not changed, however, is the nation’s desire for a secure retirement. Providingsecure retirements remains a national goal. Achieving it will require the collaboration and cooperation ofmany, both inside and outside of government — employers, employees, pensioners, and their representatives,working with the ERISA agencies and members of Congress in both houses and on both sides of the aisle.The people of PBGC stand ready to help, and look forward to doing so — to find new ways to enhance thesecurity of millions of retirees, and of the millions more who will retire in the future.Joshua GotbaumDirectorNovember 15, 2013PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATIONviFY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

F Y 2013 AN NU AL RE P O R TA MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR . IA MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR. IIYEAR IN REVIEW . 4OUR OPERATIONS IN BRIEF . 4PROMOTING EMPLOYER - PROVIDED RETIREMENT PLANS . 5OUR CUSTOMER FOCUS . 7BUILDING BETTER WAYS TO DO BUSINESS . 9PRESERVING PLANS AND PROTECTING PENSIONERS . 11PAYING TIMELY AND ACCURATE BENEFITS . 13MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS OF STEWARDSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY . 14MAINTAINING OUR QUALITY TEAM . 19IMPROVING KEY AREAS . 21INDEPENDENT EVALUATION OF PBGC PROGRAMS . 22FINANCES. 24FISCAL YEAR 2013 FINANCIAL STATEMENT HIGHLIGHTS . 26MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS . 31FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND NOTES. 53IMPROPER PAYMENT REPORTING . 962013 ACTUARIAL VALUATION . 101INDEPENDENT AUDIT AND MANAGEMENT’S RESPONSE . 104LETTER OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL . 105REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT AUDITOR. 107MANAGEMENT’S RESPONSE TO REPORT OF INDEPENDENT AUDITOR . 121ORGANIZATION . 122This annual report is prepared to meet applicable legal requirements and is in accordance with and pursuantto the provisions of: the Government Corporation Control Act, 31 U.S.C. section 9106; Circular No. A-11,“Preparation, Submission and Execution of the Budget” Office of Management and Budget, July 26, 2013;and, Circular No. A-136 Revised, “Financial Reporting Requirements,” Office of Management and Budget,October 21, 2013. Section 4008 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. section 1308,also requires an actuarial report evaluating expected operations and claims, which will be issued as soon aspracticable.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION1FY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION2FY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION3FY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

WHEN A COMPANY FAILS AND ITS PENSION ENDS, WHEN A LIFETIME OF DREAMS SEEMS TO BECRASHING, PBGC IS THERE AS A SAFETY NET TO CATCH A PERSON, A FAMILY, A COMMUNITY.WE AT THE PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION PROTECT MORE THAN 42 MILLIONWORKERS AND RETIREES IN PRIVATE DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION PLANS. WE DO THAT BYENCOURAGING COMPANIES TO KEEP THEIR PLANS, AND BY PAYING BENEFITS WHEN THEYCANNOT.TO ENHANCE RETIREMENT SECURITY, WE PURSUE THREE OVERARCHING GOALS: PRESERVE PLANS AND PROTECT PENSIONERS, PAY PENSION BENEFITS ON TIME AND ACCURATELY, AND MAINTAIN HIGH STANDARDS OF STEWARDSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITYHERE IS OUR MISSION AND OUR OPERATION, HOW WE MEASURE OUR SUCCESS, AND OURPROGRESS IN ACHIEVING OUR GOALS.OUR OPERATIONS IN BRIEFWe administer two insurance programs. Our single-employer program protects about 32 million workers andretirees in about 23,000 pension plans. Our multiemployer program protects about 10 million workers andretirees in about 1,400 pension plans.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION4FY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

To preserve plans and protect pensioners we: Worked with media, Congressional staff, retiree groups, unions, and pension advocacy groups to helpthousands to understand the lifetime consequences of accepting pensions as lump sum payments insteadof lifetime income annuities. Helped to protect 161,000 people by encouraging companies to keep their plans when they emergedfrom bankruptcy. Negotiated 15 million in financial assurance to protect 5,000 people in plans at risk from corporatetransactions. Negotiated 145 million in financial assurance to protect 9,000 people whose companies downsized. Continued to help protect 130,000 people in American Airlines’ plans, as well as tens of thousands morein other plans in ongoing bankruptcies.To pay timely and accurate benefits we: Assumed responsibility for 57,000 more people in 111 newly failed single-employer plans. Started paying benefits to the 14,000 retirees in those plans, on time and without missing a singlepayment. Paid 5.5 billion to 900,000 retirees in more than 4,600 failed plans (an additional 620,000 workers willreceive benefits when they retire).PROMOTING EMPLOYER-PROVIDED RETIREMENT PLANSThe foundation of our work is encouraging the continuation and maintenance of voluntary private pensionplans. From that foundation, we work in these ways: We protect pensioners before companies are bankrupt. We respond to major shutdowns and layoffs. We protect pensioners in bankruptcy. We provide the safety net by paying benefits. We ensure people receive the law’s full protection.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION5FY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

Helping Preserve Multiemployer PlansTo support multiemployer plans, we work to keep employers in the pool while also attracting new ones.We do this by being flexible when plans propose new rules governing employer withdrawal liability. To attractnew employers, some plans have limited their liabilities to only those arising while they are in the plan —generally protecting these new employers from legacy liabilities. And to retain existing employers, some plansallow them to pay what they owe for old liabilities and then be treated as new employers for withdrawalliability purposes.Where employers cannot continue in business and pay current contribution rates, we work with them and theother ERISA agencies to find solutions. We regularly discuss options for troubled plans with planprofessionals. For example, if bargaining parties negotiate lower contributions and lower benefits, we maywork to broaden the circumstances under which plans may accept such agreements. In addition to extendingthe life of the plan, we sometimes discuss merging multiemployer plans to improve economies of scale andincrease the ratio of active participants to inactive participants.If all of the contributing employers withdraw, a plan is terminated. When such a case looms, we discussapproaches that will offer maximum recovery by the plan.We are always available to informally lend our expertise to plan professionals and provide technical assistanceon difficult interpretation issues.Expanding Options to Preserve PlansChanging dynamics since ERISA was enacted 40 years ago require creative, flexible options to reflect real-lifeneeds of the employers which sponsor pension plans. That flexibility is essential as, increasingly, companiesare seeking ways to transfer risk from their balance sheets.We recognize that not every company can offer a full-service defined benefit (DB) pension plan. For decades,some employers have been seeking ways to limit costs and risks by passing them on to employees. One wayan employer can do so is to replace their DB plan with a defined contribution (DC) plan. There are,however, other ways — such as cash balance plans — that avoid putting all the responsibility and all the riskon the employee.We’re seeking to preserve those DB plans that employers still offer. Some employers with DB plans have toldus they would consider hybrid DB options with some features of DC plans as an alternative to freezing theirplans. Many expressed frustration with confusing regulations and redundant reporting, so we’re makingchanges in regulations and enforcement actions. Similarly, many who offer DC plans are considering ways togenerate the lifetime security of DB plans.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION6FY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

Being ready to offer flexible solutions is imperative.While employers have always had the option to leavethe DB system for reasons relating to cost and risk,beginning in 2012 and continuing through FY 2013,employers have gone one step further, offering lumpsum payments even to those who have retired or nolonger work for them. When companies offered theirretirees one-time lump sums in place of their pensions,we worked with media, congressional staff, retireegroups, unions, and pension advocacy groups to helppeople understand the lifelong consequences ofaccepting such an offer.Retirees Rate PBGC ServiceAmong the Best in GovernmentEducating people about lump sums is a major focusfor us. The choice whether to take an annuityproviding lifetime income or a lump-sum cashpayment has profound consequences for futureretirement security. All too often, when lump sums areoffered, the lure of a large amount is almostirresistible. Unfortunately, most people make thatdecision with little understanding of the financialconsequences, without consultation with any financialadvisor, and frequently without any analysis at all. Weare diligent in outlining the potential consequences ofa one-time payment without focused consideration oflong-term risks and realities in an era where people areliving longer after retirement.Callers to PBGC Customer ContactCenter Continue to Rate Service HighlyOUR CUSTOMER FOCUSSatisfaction Steady with ImprovedOnline ServicesPBGC’s goals of protecting benefits and encouragingcompanies to continue to sponsor their plans defineour two key customer groups: workers and retirees ininsured pension plans and the companies andprofessionals who maintain those plans. Additionally,as citizens increasingly use the convenience of onlinegovernment service tools, visitors to our website havebecome a key customer group. We maintain and buildon our tradition of service by regular measurement ofcustomer expectations and perceptions, coupled withfocused efforts to use the feedback we receive to makeimprovements.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION7FY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

Strong Customer SatisfactionWe surveyed each of our constituencies and in every area customer satisfaction remained strong. Our chiefmeasure of customer satisfaction is the survey offered at our website, pbgc.gov. Survey feedback is shareddaily with all our employees. Customer satisfaction survey targets have been incorporated into our internalawards program.Highest Worker/Retiree Satisfaction RateRetirees receiving monthly benefits rated us 90 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), morethan 20 points above the government average; a score of 80 or higher is considered excellent, whether for agovernment agency or a private business.Customers who used our toll-free number, whether retired or still working, rated us 87 with the highest marksoffered for the respect shown by our representatives.Our online application is called My Pension Benefit Account (MyPBA). It allows customers to access formsand information and to perform routine transactions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Based on customerfeedback, we completely redesigned this system for improved user-friendliness.The ACSI rating for MyPBA was a strong 81 in FY 2013, down from 83 in FY 2012.Satisfaction Remains Strong Among Pension Plan AdministratorsCompanies that sponsor defined benefit pension plans must file premiums and reports with us annually andsometimes multiple times per year. Because we regulate and collect money from these employers, maintainingand strengthening their satisfaction is vital.In FY 2013, the satisfaction score for premiumfilers was 74. Satisfaction among those using theonline premium filing application, My PlanAdministration Account (My PAA) was 80.PBGC’s Premium Filing Process and ServiceSuperior to Similar Required FilingsReaching Out In New WaysIn FY 2013, we continued efforts to encourageconversations and collaborations to enhanceretirement security. Much of our expanded effortsrelated to preserving existing pension plans, suchas the Director's testimony before Congress onmultiemployer plans and before the AmericanBankruptcy Institute and the ERISA AdvisoryCouncil on important technical issues.We also continue to find ways to increase our transparency and make our resources more accessible to thepublic. Established in FY 2010, our open government Web page keeps current data of value to the public. Wecontinue to post the Pension Insurance Data Tables online, providing the most recent statistics on thepeople and plans we protect.PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION8FY 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

Traffic to our website increased in FY 2013 to about 2.2 million visits compared with 1.6 million visits in FY2012 — a 38 percent increase. Information about unclaimed pensions was the most reviewed topic.Unclaimed pension stories on Yahoo!, Fox News, and a mass AARP mailing, prompted several spikes with a179 percent increase in pbgc.govtraffic. Blog activity drove up visitsto the About PBGC section resultingin a 19 percent increase.Finally, we shared information theold-fashioned way — face to face. InFY 2013, we spoke before 172audiences, up from 90 in FY 2012,with audiences including pensionprofessionals, plan sponsors,business groups, labor unions, retireeorganizations, academics, businessreporters and financial professionals.Listening to Our Customers to Improve our WebsiteMany visitors compare our website favorably with leading commercial sites. The way we maintain ourstanding with users is by listening to what they have to say.In FY 2013, we made hundreds of customer-recommended improvements to help visitors more easily findinformation, better understand what they find, and determine sooner whether PBGC is the right organizationto help them. We added links in better locations, improved how search terms bring up relevant results, andmade FAQs more prominent with clearer content so even first-time visitors could readily understand theinformation.In addition, we boosted our social media outreach with expanded use of Facebook, Twitter, and our blog,Retirement Matters, using these tools to share information about PBGC as well as the larger picture ofAmerican retirement security. And, across all of our online platforms, we became increasingly robust inproviding timely and relevant information.BUILDING BETTER WAYS TO DO BUSINESSBenefits Administration and Payment Department (BAPD) Vis

On behalf of the PBGC Board of Directors, I am pleased to present the PBGC’s FY 2013 Annual Report, which provides important information about the PBGC’s operations and its finances. The report highlights many of the PBGC’s accomplishments over this past fiscal year to preserve plans and protect pensioners, as

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