PBGC, Western Union Reach Deal to Strengthen Pension Plan

August 21, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has reached an agreement with Western Union Financial Services Inc. of Englewood, Colorado, to strengthen funding of Western Union's defined benefit retirement plan.

According to a PBGC news release, the agreement stipulates that on or before September 11, 2009, Western Union will make a $4.1 million cash payment for the 2008 plan year that will be in addition to any required payments to the pension plan. The Western Union Financial Services Inc. Pension Plan, which covers more than 890 workers and retirees, remains ongoing and under the company’s sponsorship.

PBGC explained in the announcement that the agreement stems from an August 7, 2008, shutdown of the company’s customer call center in Bridgeton, Missouri, where 153 of the facility’s 351 employees lost their jobs – representing a 44% reduction in the Bridgeton location’s workforce. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires the agency to seek additional protection when more than 20% of a company’s employees covered by a pension plan lose their jobs due to a cessation of operations at a facility.