NU Online News Service, Nov. 13, 9:28 a.m. – The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal agency that backs defined-benefit pension plans, will increase the maximum amount of monthly benefits it will guarantee for retirees in underfunded single-employer plans to $3,664.77 in 2003, or $43,977.24 per year, from $3,579.55, or $42,954.60 per year, in 2002.

The maximum guarantee affects workers who retire at age 65. Workers who retire at younger ages will get less.

The PBGC now guarantees benefits for 44 million U.S. workers, and it is providing or expecting to provide benefits for 624,000 workers and retirees who belong to about 3,000 defunct pension plans, according to PBGC figures.