Rep. George Miller (D- Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Education the Workforce Committee, released the following statement today after the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced that beginning today and over the next few weeks, the PBGC will be notifying United Airlines pension plan participants and beneficiaries whether there will be any changes to their pension benefits as the result of corrections made to plan asset valuations.
"The PBGC's new rework of the United Airlines pension plan valuations is an important step forward. The revaluation performed by PBGC's contractor, KPMG, corrects critical errors made earlier by PBGC and its previous contractor. Its release today shows that the PBGC is making progress in correcting the results of years of defective pension plan calculations and failed contractor oversight by the agency. Retirees' pension benefits can turn on these valuations, so these calculations need to be reliable. PBGC must now make sure that participants and beneficiaries who have been underpaid due to earlier valuation errors are made whole and that they understand how the corrected valuation has impacted their benefits and what rights they have going forward. I will continue to oversee PBGC's efforts to address deficiencies in past pension plan valuations and the structural issues within the agency that made such mistakes possible."
In 2009, Miller asked the Inspector General to look into the PBGC's handling of the termination of the United Airlines plans. In response to Miller's request, the Inspector General found serious flaws in the original plan asset audits and other errors in PBGC's handling of the United Airlines pension plan termination. The Inspector General found that, among other things, in 2007-2008 the PBGC and its contractor performing the plan asset audits failed to accurately value all of the plan assets at that the time the United plans were terminated. Miller called on PBGC's leadership and the Board that oversees it to address the serious concerns raised by the Inspector General's report. Today marks a significant step forward in that process.