PBGC Assumes Oxford Automotive Pension Plans

February 25, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has assumed the pensions for Lobdell Emery Corp. and Howell Industries, subsidiaries of Oxford Automotive Inc.

>The PBGC will assume control of seven defined benefit plans sponsored by Lobdell and three plans for Howell, according to a press release. According to agency estimates, the plans are 58% funded, with $48 million in assets to over $83 million in liabilities. The agency said that the plans have ended as of Friday.

>The Michigan-based Oxford – a producer of auto parts at facilities in the Midwest – filed for bankruptcy protection in December. Under a reorganization plan, the company’s assets are to be sold. By terminating the plans before the sale of assts, the PBGC is attempting to improve its ability to recover assets for the plans before other creditors receive some of the funds, according to the news release.

>Retirees from the 10 plans will continue to receive benefits checks without interruption, according to the PBGC. The maximum guaranteed pension under the PBGC for workers who retire at 65 is $45,613 in 2005.