March 29, 2016
By Steven Wishnia
Washington, DC – The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will have to pick up a $288 million bill for three pension plans that cover more than 21,000 former employees of the A&P supermarket chain, which declared bankruptcy last year.
The PBGC, which insures pensions managed by private companies, announced March 17 that it would be taking over the plans and their future monthly payments to retirees. The three plans were left with no future income to pay benefits after A&P sold off many of its 300 stores in the Middle Atlantic states and fired almost all of its 28,000 workers, said PBGC spokesperson Nidia Yáñez. United Food and Commercial Workers pension plans, which covered most of A&P’s union workers, are relatively solvent, however. While Local 406A in New Jersey lost “several thousand” jobs in the bankruptcy, said President John T. Niccollai, many of its closed stores were acquired by the ACME chain, which said it would continue to make contributions for Local 406A members still working in them. Read more