$1.5 Million Recovered for Chicago-Based Pension Plans

Thursday, June 1, 2017
A partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has recovered almost $1.5 million for participants in two terminated Chicago-based pension plans.

EBSA’s Chicago Regional Office and PBGC are focusing on tracking down about 1,200 participants entitled to benefits under the Hartmarx Retirement Income Plan and the United Airlines Ground Employees’ Retirement Plan. As part of bankruptcy proceedings, PBGC took responsibility for the Hartmarx plan when it terminated in 2009, and for the United Airlines Ground Employees’ Retirement Plan in 2005. Of the 1,200 missing participants, 100 are age 65 or older, and currently eligible to receive their benefits from the plans.

“There are more than a thousand participants owed pension benefits whom we’re working to locate,” said Jeffrey Monhart, EBSA’s Regional Director in Chicago. “Teaming up with PBGC enhances our efforts to find eligible participants in these two retirement pension plans, as well as other plans to ensure they receive the benefits they are rightfully entitled to and worked so hard to earn.”

EBSA is one of several federal agencies responsible for administering provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 which provides certain protections and guarantees for participants and beneficiaries in private-sector employee pension and welfare benefit plans.

Under ERISA, PBGC serves as an insurer of private-sector defined benefit pension plans. Participants can be “missing” when employers transfer private-sector pension plans to PBGC because the plan did not have current contact information for these participants or these participants have changed addresses since the transfer. In some instances, the participants may not even be aware they are entitled to benefits.
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