PBGC Takes Mich. Firm Pension Plan

March 27, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The nation's private-sector pension insurer has taken over the pension plan sponsored by Patton Corp., of Ann Arbor, Michigan, for some 1,800 employees and retirees of its General Automotive Corp. (GAC) and Flxible Corp. units.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) said GAC and Flxible Corp., which manufactured buses in Ann Arbor and Delaware, Ohio, both liquidated in bankruptcy. GAC did so in 1998 and Flxible in 1997. 

The agency said it stepped in because no entity remains to administer the plan and pay benefits following Patton’s own non-bankruptcy liquidation. An insolvent commercial real estate holding company, Patton ended its operations on June 30, 2006, and was unable to continue funding the plan.

According to PBGC estimates, the GAC/Flxible Employees Retirement Plan is about 58% percent funded, with assets of $19.8 million and benefit liabilities of $33.8 million. The agency expects to cover the entire $14 million shortfall.

Under federal pension law, the maximum guaranteed pension at age 65 for participants in plans that terminate in 2006 is $47,659 per year.