PBGC Takes Over Eddie Bauer Pension Plan

January 6, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The nation’s private-sector pension insurer has taken over the underfunded pension plan for more than 1,800 former employees and retirees of bankrupt specialty retailer Eddie Bauer.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) said it took over the plan from the Lake Forest, Illinois-based company because firms that purchased its assets as part of the Eddie Bauer bankruptcy proceedings did not agree to administer the pension program as well.

The Eddie Bauer Pension Plan, established in 1976, is 58% funded, with assets of $29.8 million to cover $51.4 million in benefit liabilities, according to PBGC estimates. The agency expects to be responsible for the entire $21.7-million shortfall.

The plan ended as of August 4, 2009.

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