PBGC Assumes Responsibility for Murray Inc. Pension Plans

January 19, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced that it will assume responsibility for the pensions of about 4,500 employees of outdoor power equipment company Murray, Inc.

>The Brentwood, Tennessee-based Murray, which had both the Pension Plan for Hourly Paid Workers and the Employees’ Retirement Fund Plan, filed for bankruptcy protection in November. Both plans are 53% funded, with $131 million in assets to cover $246 million in liabilities. The PBGC estimated that it must cover $103 million of the $115 million shortfall if no asset purchaser assumes the company’s pension plans and makes up for missed contribution when the company’s assets are sold Thursday.

“The PBGC is stepping in because Murray’s two pension plans face abandonment after the company liquidates,” said PBGC Executive Director Bradley Belt in a  press release . “The PBGC will pay retirees’ monthly benefit checks without interruption, up to legal limits, and will ensure other employees receive benefits when they are eligible to retire.”

>After the PBGC becomes the company pension plan’s trustee – which should happen in a few weeks – the agency will notify plan participants of the change. Under the PBGC, the maximum guaranteed pension for those over 65 for a plan terminating this year is $45,613.