PBGC Steps in to Take Illinois Company Pension

March 17, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) will cover the retirement benefits of nearly 800 employees and retirees of Böwe Bell + Howell Co.

The PBGC said in a news release that it acted because Böwe Bell + Howell’s parent company, Böwe Systec AG of Augsburg, Germany, is selling all its assets in bankruptcy.  Following the sale, the pension plan will be abandoned, leaving PBGC to pay about $21 million in unfunded benefits. The agency expects to cover $20.8 million of the $20.9 million shortfall. 

By taking action before the sale, the agency can more easily recover assets from the company and its units to help pay benefits to members of Böwe Bell + Howell’s retirement plan, the PBGC said in its announcement.

Böwe Bell + Howell was a maker of high-speed postal inserting and sorting systems based in Wheeling, Illinois.