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Friday, January 09, 2009

Automaker Pensions Underfunded

by Calculated Risk on 1/09/2009 07:11:00 PM

From the WSJ: Agency Raises Concerns About Car Makers' Pensions

The head of the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. acknowledged in an interview that General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler LLC have well funded pensions according to the standard accounting rules applied by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But by the PBGC's measures, the pension funds of Detroit's Big Three would be underfunded by as much as $41 billion ...

[PBGC Director Charles E. F. Millard] estimates that the three auto makers only have enough money in their pension funds to cover only 76% of the pension obligations they have made, if they terminate the pension plans. GM's plan is estimated to be $20 billion, or about 20% underfunded, while Chrysler's plan is 34% underfunded, leading to a $9 billion-plus shortfall, the agency said. Ford's funded ratio is not publicly available, but the company's pension plans are likely running at a $12 billion deficit.

About $13 billion of the estimated $41 billion shortfall would be covered by the PBGC ...
The PBGC is another bailout waiting to happen.