Pension Insurance

The nation’s government-run pension insurance plan released figures this week illustrating the trouble that it’s in:

WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) — The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. lost $12.1 billion in fiscal 2004, boosting its year-end deficit to $23.3 billion, the federal agency said Monday.

As of Sept. 30, the agency reported assets of $39 billion to cover liabilities of $62.3 billion in single-employer plans taken over by the government when the responsible corporations were unable to continue payments.

Will Bush and the Congressional Republicans get their act together this year to pass some needed reforms, after failing to do so last year? Or will they let the problem fester and grow for future (presumably more responsible) politicians? Who knows. One thing is almost certain, however. The following paragraph from the piece quoted above will probably become out-of-date sometime soon:

The agency, which receives no taxpayer funding, insures the defined-benefit pensions of more than 44 million Americans in more than 30,000 different plans. Its operations are financed by premiums on insured pensions as well as its investment income from assets it has accumulated from 3,479 terminated plans.

Expect that to change to “The agency, which receives billions of dollars in taxpayer funding…” sometime in the not-too-distant future.