Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray pushed Joshua Gotbaum, Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, to make sure that the agency continued to have the ability to pay the benefits earned by more than forty-four million American workers participating in more than 27,000 private sector pension plans. While these pensions are not paid for or backed by taxpayers, Congress plays a key role in ensuring that the agency is operating in a manner that guarantees that nearly $7 billion in benefits are paid yearly.
“At a time when families and workers in my home state of Washington and across the country are struggling, we need to make sure that the pensions they are counting on are stable and secure,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I am going to keep pushing to make sure that workers don’t have to worry that the pensions they have been working for their whole lives won’t be there for them when they are ready to retire.”
Senator Murray pushed Mr. Gotbaum on the agency’s use of contractors in carrying out its core functions, as well as about the ability of the agency to appropriately manage its workforce of contractors and federal employees:
“I understand that the PBGC receives no funds from general tax revenues and its obligations are not backed by the U.S. government. But, I feel obligated to ensure stewardship and accountability of contract workers who comprise about two-thirds of PBGC’s workforce when a number of government contractors are under investigation and the government is discussing wage freezes for government employees.
“I feel strongly that the PBGC needs to make sure to address the issue GAO found in their 2008 report, that the PBGC’s workforce management lacked a strategic approach to determining the mix of contract and federal workers.”
Senator Murray is the Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.