US - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) losses due to multiemployer pensions could rise to an average US$4bn in 2019 from an actual $869m at the end of September 2009.
According to its annual report, the lifeboat fund's exposure to "reasonably possible losses" from underfunded single employer pension funds rose to $168bn in 2009 from $47bn at the end of the previous year.
PBGC acting director Vince Snowbarger said: "As the multiemployer program's exposure to loss continues to grow, we are ramping up efforts to better monitor and manage risk.
"This new modeling system will help us understand what's out there. It also will be a useful tool for Congress and other policymakers considering ways to strengthen our ability to protect the multiemployer pensions of almost 10 million Americans."
The deficit of the PBGC almost doubled in fiscal year 2009 to $22bn largely due to an increase in plan terminations and unfavourable change in interest factors used to value the agency's liabilities. (Global Pensions, November 16, 2009)
The overall deficit is mainly due to single-employer plans, whose overall net position represents a loss of $21.1bn. In contrast, losses coming from multiemployer contributed to the PBGC's deficit by a mere $869m.
Last year, the PBGC assumed the pension plans of high-profile bankrupt companies, such as Delphi, Lehman Brothers, General Motors and Chrysler. (Global Pensions, September 15, 2009)
Meanwhile, liability valuation interest factors decreased by 149 basis points to 5.17% at September 30, 2009, from 6.66% at September 30, 2008. This decrease in PBGC's interest factors resulted in an increase of $10.5bn in actuarial charges, the agency said.
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