PBGC Takes NY Health Center Pension Plan

April 30, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The nation's private pension insurer said Thursday it has taken over a pension plan covering more than 1,200 workers and retirees at a New York state health care company.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) said it took action to assume responsibility for a plan by Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center because the employer missed about $7 million in required contributions.

The PBGC said Niagara has not paid into the plan since September 2006, and lacks the assets to make past due or future payments. Additionally, Niagara’s failure to make such payments left the plan non-compliant with minimum funding standards under the Internal Revenue Code.

According to PBGC estimates, the Retirement Plan of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is about 54% funded, with assets of $9 million and benefit liabilities of $21 million. The agency expects to be responsible for about $7.6 million of the $11.8 million shortfall.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is a 315-bed, non-profit hospital and nursing home in Niagara County, New York. The medical center provides care for a disproportionate number of the county’s uninsured patients, the PBGC said.