PBGC and UK Pension Bodies Agree to Share

November 5, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new agreement between the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) and the United Kingdom's Pensions Regulator and Pension Protection Fund provides a framework for information sharing across the pond.

According to a PBGC announcement, under a Memorandum of Understanding, signed Wednesday, the three agencies “will share any unrestricted information that advances the security of defined benefit plans sponsored by private sector companies.” Confidential financial information from those companies will not be shared.

“The agreement is a reflection of the mutual interests of the three agencies and the global reach of corporate entities that sponsor pension plans,” the announcement said.

While the agreement facilitates broad access to data, intelligence, and other records, it is not legally binding, and can be cancelled at any time by any party. In addition, the agencies are not compelled to lend assistance to each other, especially if legal proceedings are underway, and such assistance would be contrary to the interests of either country.

“In today’s global business world, pension regulators often face common issues that cut across national boundaries,” said Vince Snowbarger, acting director of the PBGC, in the announcement. “This agreement gives the PBGC and our UK counterparts a framework for appropriate sharing of information and cooperation in carrying out our missions.”