PBGC Takes Ohio Manufacturer's Plan

June 10, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has taken over the underfunded pension plan covering about 8,400 employees and retirees of Milacron Inc., a bankrupt vendor of plastics technologies and industrial fluids based in Batavia, Ohio, near Cincinnati.

A PBGC news release said its move comes as Milacron, in chapter 11 bankruptcy, prepares to sell substantially all of its assets to a new company.  At a hearing set for June 26, Milacron will seek court approval of the sale transaction that will result in the abandonment of the pension plan to a liquidating corporate shell with no assets, the PBGC said. 

By taking this action before the sale, the PBGC explained in the announcement, it will mature its claim for the entire pension shortfall against Milacron’s foreign assets.  The PBGC has previously filed liens of about $3.6 million against these assets. 

The agency estimates the Milacron Retirement Plan is 45% funded, with $260 million in assets to cover $573 million in benefit liabilities. The agency expects to be liable for about $285 million of the $313 million shortfall. The pension plan has been frozen since December 31, 2007. The plan ends on June 10, 2009. 

Other Milacron facilities are in Kansas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

Assumption of the plan’s unfunded liabilities will increase the PBGC’s claims by $284.5 million and was not previously included in the agency’s fiscal year 2008 financial statements, the agency said.

Under federal pension law, the maximum guaranteed pension at age 65 for participants in plans that terminate in 2009 is $54,000 per year.