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PBGC takes over pension plans of Christ Hospital, Olan Mills


WASHINGTON—The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has taken over pension plans sponsored by a financially troubled New Jersey hospital and a commercial photography company.

The pension plan sponsored by Jersey City, N.J.-based Christ Hospital, which filed for bankruptcy last month and whose assets will be acquired by another health care system, has $159 million in liabilities and $67 million in assets. The PBGC will guarantee $89 million of the $92 million funding shortfall.

That $89 million loss is the PBGC's biggest in fiscal 2012.

The agency's biggest loss in fiscal 2011 also involved a health care system. Last year, the PBGC took over a pension plan sponsored by Forum Health Inc., a Youngstown, Ohio-based hospital and health care system that filed for bankruptcy reorganization in 2009 and has since sold off its assets. That PBGC takeover of the Forum Health plan cost the agency about $150 million.

In addition, the PBGC announced this week that it has taken over a pension plan sponsored by Olan Mills Inc., a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based commercial photography company.

Olan Mills, which the PBGC said suffered financially due to the shift from film to digital formats, last year sold the majority of its assets to Lifetouch Inc., an Eden Prairie, Minn.-based photography company.

Lifetouch did not assume Olan Mills' pension plan, and the plan would have been abandoned had the PBGC not taken it over, the agency said.

The Olan Mills' plan has $101.9 million in assets and $143.1 million in liabilities. The PBGC said it is responsible for the entire $41.2 million funding shortfall.

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