PBGC to Take on PTC Alliance Corp. Pension Plan

December 28, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is moving to assume responsibility for the underfunded pension plan covering about 750 employees and retirees of PTC Alliance Corp.

The Wexford, Pennsylvania, maker of specialty steel tubing and has been in chapter 11 bankruptcy since October 1, 2009, and is preparing to sell substantially all of its assets at a hearing tentatively set for January 4, 2010. The PBGC said if it delayed action until after the sale, the plan would face abandonment and there would be no assets to pay the agency’s claims for unfunded pension liabilities. 

By taking this action prior to the sale, the PBGC matures a claim for the entire pension shortfall against domestic and foreign assets of PTC Alliance, according to a press release. Any purchaser of PTC Alliance assets will have to make provision for the pension plan before it can take clear title to these assets.

The PTC Alliance Corp. Pension Plan is 51% funded, with $39.7 million in assets to cover $77.1 million in benefit liabilities, according to PBGC estimates. The agency expects to be liable for $37 million of the $37.4 million shortfall.

The PBGC will take over the assets and use insurance funds to pay guaranteed benefits earned under the plan, which ends on December 28, 2009.