Ex-Kansas Congressman Named as Acting PBGC Chief

February 13, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A former Congressman has been tapped to run the federal pension insurer as acting executive director until departing agency head Steven Kandarian can be replaced permanently.

Former US Representative Vincent Snowbarger assumes his post in the wake of the already-announced resignation of Kandarian (See Steve Kandarian ), who is stepping down as head of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to return to the private sector and spend more time with his family (See PBGC Head Steps Down to Spend More Family Time ). Snowbarger has served as PBGC’s assistant executive director since July 2002.

Snowbarger represented the Kansas Third Congressional District from 1997 until 1999, serving on the Banking and Financial Services, Small Business, and Government Reform and Oversight Committees. Before his election to Congress, Snowbarger served 12 years as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, where he held the post of majority leader from 1993 until 1997. Snowbarger is a 1971 graduate of Southern Nazarene University, and earned an M.A. from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from the University of Kansas.

Kandarian, who has run the agency since November 2001 (See Chao Names Kandarian Head of PBGC ), presided over a period of enormous turmoil within the private defined benefit system. Kandarian – and Snowbarger – have warned lawmakers of needed system fixes to help deal with chronic pension underfunding – particularly in the airline and steel sectors (See PBGC Says Pension Promises Outpace Funding ).

The PBGC currently guarantees payment of basic pension benefits for approximately 44 million American workers and retirees participating in over 31,000 private sector defined benefit pension plans. Created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the PBGC gets its revenue from insurance premiums paid by covered and investment returns.