Pension Reform and Bankruptcy

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A number of large pension plans have terminated under financial distress, dwindling retiree benefits and causing massive deficits for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The continued erosion of pension funds looms as a major concern for Congress, companies in financial distress, workers and taxpayers.


Panelists include top experts in bankruptcy, labor and pension law: Vince Snowbarger, Assistant Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ( Washington, D.C.), Hon. William T. Bodoh of Frost Brown Todd LLC ( Columbus, Ohio), Mary Lou Savage Senior Benefits Attorney at the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and Robin E. Phelan of Haynes and Boone LLP (Dallas).

Should companies in bankruptcy be required to maintain their pension plans? What criteria does the bankruptcy court use in determining whether a company can terminate its pension plan in bankruptcy? What are the implications for employees and retirees and other stakeholders? How does it work? What are the legal issues surrounding termination of pension plans?
With some U.S. airlines and other large companies skipping pension payments and threatening default on their retirement obligations, could the moves lead to a taxpayer bailout of the pension agency? Should healthy companies pay higher insurance premiums to keep the agency going?
For Further assistance, please contact Karim Guirguis at 703-739-0800