The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced a new pilot program to offer mediation in certain Termination Liability Collection and Early Warning Program cases for defined benefit (DB) plans.
PBGC’s Pilot Mediation Project will allow parties to try to resolve cases with the assistance of a skilled, neutral and independent dispute resolution professional in a timely and cost-effective manner.
The mediation project is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to make it easier for plan sponsors to maintain their pension plans. “We want our customers to know we’re listening to them and we want to improve their experience in working with us,” says PBGC Director Tom Reeder. “By providing an alternative dispute resolution option for employers who sponsor ongoing and terminated plans, we expect to save time and money for both the government and our stakeholders.”
After one year, the agency will evaluate the program’s success on multiple metrics, including:
- Percent of eligible cases opting for mediation,
- Resolution rate and time to resolution, and
- Cost savings.
The American Benefits Council applauds the pilot program for addressing issues raised by companies that sponsor pension plans.
“We at the American Benefits Council are very pleased about the new Pilot Mediation Project,” says Lynn Dudley, senior vice president, global retirement and compensation policy, for the American Benefits Council. “This is an excellent signal that PBGC is listening to plan sponsors and being creative to improve its programs and its relationships with sponsors. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with PBGC to enhance this Pilot Project and strengthen the employer-provided pension system.”
For information about eligibility, visit the PBGC Plan Sponsor Pilot Mediation Project webpage.