PBGC Takes Consumers Distributing Plan

September 19, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has assumed responsibility for a pension plan that covers more than 950 former employees of Consumers Distributing.

The PBGC said in press release that it stepped in because the pension plan would be unable to pay benefits when due, failed to meet minimum funding standards, and faced abandonment as a result of liquidation.

Consumers Distributing was a retail sales company that liquidated during bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Trenton, New Jersey, shifting responsibility for the pension plan to Consumers Distributing Pension Administration Ltd., a Canadian firm with offices in New York City.

The two companies are units of Akai Holdings Limited, liquidating under the High Court of Hong Kong Administrative Region.

According to PBGC estimates, the Consumers Distributing Pension Administration Retirement Plan is 15% funded, with assets of a little over $1 million to cover $7.3 million in benefit liabilities. The PBGC expects to be responsible for $5.2 million of the $6.3 million shortfall.

The agency will use plan assets and PBGC insurance funds to pay guaranteed benefits earned under the plan, which ended on December 31, 2007. The PBGC became trustee of the plan on September 2, 2008.