PBGC Creating Department of Quality Management

October 17, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) Diane Braunstein, an associate commissioner of the Social Security Administration, is joining the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to create a Department of Quality Management.

In this role, she will oversee a new department focused on best practices for the benefits department and the agency at large. In addition, Philip R. Langham, the former executive director of the Richmond Retirement System, is now director of the Benefits and Payment Department (BAPD) and has been on board since mid-September.  

 Langham will lead ongoing improvements stemming from the strategic review of BAPD that began in 2011 (see   “PBGC Audit Finds Fault with Internal Controls”), including establishment of new groups specializing in valuing pension assets and in data acquisition. The agency had problems with benefit payments for U.S. Airways (see “U.S. Airways Employees Owed Interest for Delayed Pension Payments”) and United Airlines (see “PBGC to Begin Back Payments for United Airlines Retirees”) retirees and beneficiaries.  

In addition, a Management Advisory Report issued in May said calculations in PBGC financial reports were wrong due to the lack of a quality control process (see “Report Says PBGC Calculations Flawed”).

Braunstein’s career includes service to both the Congress and the Executive Branch, and as director of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, which provides home and community-based services to people on fixed incomes. She also served as deputy staff director of the Senate Aging Committee, where she handled retirement income issues for Senator John Heinz. Braunstein is a recipient of the 2011 Service to America award for excellence in federal service.  

While head of Richmond's retirement system, Langham managed traditional pension and defined contribution programs, as well as Richmond's investment portfolio with more than $500 million in assets. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Virginia College Savings Plan (529) with more than $2 billion in assets.  

A retired lieutenant colonel from the Air Force, Langham has also held positions with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff of the Department of Defense, and various Air Force bases throughout the U.S. and Panama.