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GAO, PBGC Spar Over Pension Fund Oversight

Tammy Whitehouse | September 4, 2008

Government agencies are stuck in a disagreement over how much oversight is necessary to protect $68 billion in invested assets and fix a $14 billion deficit.

The Government Accountability Office says the board of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. isn’t adequately overseeing implementation of the investment policy for the PBGC’s $68 billion in invested funds, especially considering the staff of the PBGC took a detour from the stated investment policy to try to improve the PBGC’s overall financial condition.

The PBGC is the government bailout agency for failed private pension plans, protecting retirement funds for more than 44 million Americans. The board of the PBGC—comprised of the secretaries of Commerce, Labor, and Treasury—undertook a biennial review of PBGC’s investment policy for the first time in 2004. At that time, the board instructed PBGC staff to limit exposure to financial risk by...

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