PBGC takes over Sun-Times pensions

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted Aug. 13, 2010 at 5:35 a.m.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has assumed control of seven pension plans covering workers and retirees of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, a move which is expected to cost the pension guarantor some $49 million.

The plans, which cover about 2,360 workers and retirees, fell to the PBGC because the buyer of essentially all the company’s assets out of bankruptcy didn’t assume the pension plans. The Sun-Times was pushed into bankruptcy in March 2009 as it was slammed by sharp drops in ad revenue.

Retirees will continue to receive their monthly benefit payments without interruption, and workers will get their pensions when they are eligible for retirement.

The PBGC, whose operations aren’t tax-funded and are financed largely by investment returns and insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans, estimates the plans are just 53 precent funded, with $55.8 million in assets to cover $106.5 million in benefit liabilities. The agency expects to cover $49.1 million of the $50.7 million shortfall.

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One comment:

  1. jack (me) Aug. 13, 2010 at 9:12 a.m.

    Tribune employees, you’re next. Or, haven’t you heard, your company is in bankruptcy, too. Do you think that the assignees of whatever creditor group eventually takes over wants to assume your pensions?