US - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has announced it is moving to assume responsibility for the underfunded pension plan sponsored by Liam Ventures, a privately owned holding company headquartered in Chicago.
Liam Ventures is the successor firm to Farley Inc, which acquired a network of companies through junk-bond financing in the 1980s.
The pension plan, which the PBGC estimates is 22% funded, covers about 4,000 workers and retirees of Farley Metals and other metal companies controlled by Liam Ventures.
The federal insurer said the company has failed to make more than US$31m in legally required contributions with the last contributions made by Liam in 1998.
“The PBGC will protect the pension benefits of Liam Ventures’ workers and retirees up to the limits set by law,” said Bradley Belt, executive director. “Retirees will continue to receive monthly benefit checks without interruption, and other workers will receive benefits when they become eligible.”
The pension plan has about US$39m in assets to cover roughly US$175m in benefits. The PBGC expects to be liable for US$133m of the US$136m shortfall.
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