PBGC Takes Value City Subsidiaries' Plans

January 8, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has assumed responsibility for two underfunded pension plans covering about 760 former workers and retirees of GB Retailers Inc. and Gramex Retail Stores Inc.

The two companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Columbus, Ohio-based Value City Department Stores LLC, and the PBGC said it stepped in because the pension plans face abandonment as Value City is liquidating all of its assets under bankruptcy proceedings. The plans ended as of May 31, 2009; the Gramex plan had been frozen since March 1, 2000.

The agency estimates that together, the GB Stores Inc. 1982 Employees’ Retirement Plan and the Gramex Retail Stores Inc. Retirement Plan are 63% funded, with assets of $7.4 million to cover $11.7 million in benefit liabilities. It expects to be responsible for the entire $4.3 million shortfall.

The PBGC said assumption of the plans’ unfunded liabilities will have no significant effect on its financial statements because an estimate of the claim was previously included in the agency’s fiscal year 2009 financial statements.