PBGC Director Stepping Down

Josh Gotbaum has been director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal agency that is a backstop for private-sector pension plans, since 2010.

Josh Gotbaum, director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal agency that is a backstop for private-sector pension plans, announced he will resign in August 2014 after four years in that position.

The agency was created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, known as ERISA, to protect pension benefits in private-sector defined benefit plans. Participants in plans that terminate without sufficient money to pay all benefits are paid by PBGC's insurance program up to the limits set by law. The insurance premiums are paid by companies whose plans PBGC protects, from its investments, from the assets of pension plans it takes over as trustee, and from recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the plans, but not from taxes.

Gotbaum has been candid about what he calls America's "retirement crisis," with millions of Americans lacking retirement savings. The existing retirement system is not covering most people and does not lead to sufficient saving, he has said.

The PBGC director is appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Its Board of Directors consists of the secretaries of Labor, Commerce and Treasury, with the secretary of Labor serving as chair.

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