US - The underfunded pension plans of eight companies with a combined US$236.3m in assets have fallen into the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in less than a month.
The PBGC has estimated it would be responsible for an extra US$314m in pension liabilities.
Crucible Corporation - a manufacturer of specialty metal products - is the latest company for which the PBGC had to step in.
The PBGC said it had to take action for Crucible "because the plans failed to meet minimum funding requirements and faced abandonment due to the company's liquidation in bankruptcy proceedings".
It added: "There would have been no entity left to finance or administer the plans."
Crucible plans are 58% funded, with assets of $147.1m to cover $277.3m in benefit liabilities, according to PBGC estimates. The agency said it expected to be responsible for $106.4m of the $130.2m shortfall.
The other companies are: Champion Parts, Hartmax, Mid-States express, Gramex Retail, Eddie Bauer, Ronson, PTC Alliance.
Hartmax had the highest unfunded liabilities with a $158.5m shortfall and Mid-States express the smallest liabilities with a $3.4m hole.
Last week, the PBGC also finalized an $11.7m agreement with appliance maker Whirlpool to shore up funding for one of its retirement plans.
The agreement stems from the 2008 closure of the company's LaVergne, Tennessee, facility, in which 649 active participants in the Whirlpool Production Employees Retirement Plan at LaVergne lost their jobs.
Under the agreement, Whirlpool has given the agency an $11.7m bond that matures on August 15, 2013. If the company or the PBGC ends the plan before that date, and Whirlpool failed to pay any resulting liability, the PBGC would collect on the bond.
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