Tim O'Toole Discusses Role of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in Plan Terminations in Employee Benefit News

"The case for independent trustees in DB plan terminations"
Employee Benefit News
11.18.13In a recent question and answer segment, Timothy O'Toole addresses defined benefit plan terminations and the resulting implications when the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) or other independent entities step in as trustees to divide remaining assets of failed plans. "There's an insurance company, the PBGC, that actually will guarantee a certain amount of pension benefit. And then there is the trustee who divides up all the remaining assets," O'Toole said, adding, "There have been some problems that have arisen from the PBGC’s dual role as the insurance company on the one hand and the trustee, the appointed trustee, on the other." In light of conflicting decisions to the detriment of pensioners, O'Toole suggests that plan sponsors "consider [whether] the independent trustee that they're looking at is competent to do its work." According to O'Toole, "You run the danger of wasting plan assets if you pick the wrong trustee."
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