PBGC Takes Over Levitz Home Furnishing Plan

October 3, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced it has assumed responsibility for the Levitz Furniture Corp. Employees' Retirement Plan.

According to the announcement, the plan is sponsored by the bankrupt furniture retailer Levitz Home Furnishing, Inc. of Woodbury, New York. The plan, frozen since 1996, covers more than 1,600 participants. Retirees currently receiving checks will continue to receive them without interruption, the agency said.

The PBCG said in its announcement that it stepped in because the pension plan faced abandonment. Levitz had sold most all of its assets to Prentice Capital Management LP in a transaction that did not include the pension plan.

The plan is 70% funded, with $55.5 million in assets to cover $79 million in promised benefits, according to PBGC estimates.  The agency said it expects to be liable for the entire shortfall, but this will have no material effect on its balance sheet.

Within the next several weeks, the PBGC will send trusteeship notification letters to all plan participants. Workers and retirees with questions may consult the PBGC Web site, www.pbgc.gov or call 800-400-7242.