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PBGC boosts maximum benefit in 2012 to nearly $56,000

Posted On: Nov. 23, 2011 12:00 AM CST

WASHINGTON—The maximum benefit that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will guarantee to participants who retire at age 65 and are in plans that the agency takes over next year will be $55,840.92, up from $54,000 this year, the PBGC announced Wednesday.

Changes in the maximum benefit guarantee, which will increase 3.4% next year, are linked to wage inflation.

$5.5 billion paid this year

In fiscal 2011, the PBGC paid nearly $5.5 billion to participants in plans taken over by the agency.

Earlier this month, the PBGC reported a record $26.1 billion deficit—up from $23 billion in fiscal 2010—in its insurance programs.

The programs are funded by premiums paid by employers with defined benefit plans and by investment income earned on assets in failed plans that the agency has taken over.