The costs of bailing out failed defined benefit pension plans often differ significantly from the costs announced to the news media.[@@]
An official at the Government Accountability Office concludes in a new letter to Congress that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. generally does not include its previously booked claims in the announcements it makes about failed plans.
The PBGC leaves out the information about previously booked claims in part because of concerns that including that information could affect PBGC litigation, Barbara Bovbjerg, GAO director of education, workforce and income security issues, writes in a letter to Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., the senior Democratic member of the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee, and Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.
PBGC officials believe that releasing previously booked claim amounts would give members of the public the ability to compare the PBGC’s booked liability for a plan and the amount of underfunding that the plan is experiencing, Bovbjerg says.