Survey: PBGC Gets "Attaboys" From Retirees

August 27, 2003 ( - "Customers" of the federal private pension insurer have given the agency high marks for customer service.

>According to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the agency got a 77 score on the 2003 American Customer Satisfaction Index – seven points higher than the overall government score of 70 and three points higher than the private-sector score of 74. Awarding the marks were workers and retirees whose tradtional pensions the PBGC took over from their ailing or bankrupt private-sector company.

>The PBGC’s overall customer satisfaction score on the 2003 survey rose three points from the previous year.   Specific areas of improvement were:

  •   “customer care” (from 83 to 86)
  •   “written communication” (from 80 to 84)
  • “concern resolution” (from 78 to 82).

>In the area of “prior expectations,” which measures how satisfied customers thought they would be before the PBGC took over their plan, the score remained unchanged at 68.

>In fiscal year 2002, the PBGC became trustee of plans covering 187,000 people, which was the largest one-year increase in the agency’s history and brought the number of workers and retirees owed guaranteed benefits to 783,000.   The PBGC expects an even larger influx of new participants in fiscal year 2003, which will bring the number of participants in the program close to 1 million, the announcement said.

>The agency has had a terrible time in recent months grappling with a flood of incoming plans – particularly from the steel and airline sectors – that has produced widespread concern about its continuing finances (See  GAO Designates PBGC ‘High Risk’PBGC Head Paints Gloomy Picture for 2003 – and Beyond ).  

>Established in 1994, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) provides a uniform and independent measure of consumers’ experiences.   The ACSI is produced through a partnership with the University of Michigan Business School, the American Society for Quality, and the consulting firm CFI Group.