US - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has restructured, adding a new insurance programme department, to deal with "unprecedented financial and legal challenges" facing the federal insurer.
The PBGC said its new corporate structure would better reflect the agency’s two principal lines of business: providing insurance coverage to pension plan sponsors and participants, and paying benefits to retirees in terminated plans taken over by PBGC.
“These changes will enable the PBGC to deal effectively with the unprecedented financial and legal challenges facing the pension insurance programme,” said executive director Bradley Belt.
“In recognition of the interdisciplinary skills required to handle major risks, teams of actuaries, financial analysts, lawyers and accountants will be grounded under a newly created Insurance Program Department (IPD).”
Under the changes, Terrence Deneen, who previously served as PBGC’s principal deputy general counsel, will head up the new department.
On matters concerning ERISA and bankruptcy litigation related to ongoing and terminated pension plans, the principal point of contact shifts from the office of the General Counsel to chief counsel Jeffrey B. Cohen, who heads the office of Chief Counsel in IPD.
PBGC’s Early Warning Program or pre-termination activities will now be overseen by IPD’s division of insurance supervision and compliance (DISC), headed by acting director John L. Spencer. These areas were formerly handled by the corporate finance and negotiations department and the pre-termination processing division, whose functions are now part of DISC.
The PBGC said the principal responsibilities of DISC are to monitor the financial condition of pension plans and the companies that sponsor them, and to ensure that plan sponsors comply with appropriate ERISA provisions.
Also within the IPD is the new multi-employer programme division, headed up by acting manager John Foster, which monitors multi-employer pension plans and handles their requests for financial assistance.
For regulatory affairs, pension practitioners who previously contacted the office of the Assistant General Counsel for Regulations will now contact the new Legislative and Regulatory department, headed by acting director James J. Armbruster.
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