The agency will pay retirement benefits for the nearly 580 current and future retirees of Pennfield Corporation. The agency assumed control of the plan because Pennfield sold the majority of its assets in bankruptcy proceedings to agribusiness giant Cargill, Inc., and Cargill did not assume responsibility for the pension plan.
According to PBGC estimates, Pennfield’s plan was 54% funded, with $15 million in assets to pay $28 million in benefits. The agency expects to cover the entire $13 million shortfall.
Pennfield produced, processed, and marketed high-end animal feeds at facilities in Pennsylvania. The company served the East Coast, as well as Southern California, but had the majority of its business operations in Pennsylvania. Pennfield has a subsidiary, Pennfield Transport Company, also located in Lancaster.
The PBGC will pay all pension benefits earned by Pennfield retirees up to the legal limit of about $56,000 for a 65-year-old. Retirees will continue to get benefits without interruption, and future retirees can apply for benefits as soon as they are eligible.