PBGC Takes Over Underfunded Pensions of Collins & Aikman

Collins & Aikman Corp., the bankrupt auto parts maker that made headlines again last week when former Chairman/CEO David Stockman was charged with defrauding investors and banks ahead of the company's collapse, will saddle the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation with an underfunded pension plan and about $161 million in liability, PBGC announced March 30. Collins & Aikman's plan covered about 21,000 employees and terminated March 31.

PBGC said it stepped in because the Troy, Mich.-based company has missed $7.6 million in required contributions, and the pension plan will be abandoned when the company sells its assets during the bankruptcy proceeding. The agency estimates the plan is 58 percent funded, with $253 million in assets to cover $434 million in benefit liabilities.

Collins & Aikman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 17, 2005. A confirmation hearing on the company's liquidating plan of reorganization is scheduled for April 19. The maximum guaranteed pension at age 65 for participants in plans that terminate in 2007 is $49,500 per year.

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