I received the following comment. I too, received the retirement letter today and wondered what it all meant:
"Hi Jim,I've been lurking for a long time, reading your blog.
Thanks for being the consummate news man.
I got the Booth letter about our pensions. I have always known my Advance pension would be pitiful, if indeed, it will even exist by the time I can draw on it.
It says Booth is giving the plan up to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC).
In 2008, the fund was 81% funded and less in 2007.
The only way a company can terminate a single employer defined pension plan is that it is fully funded or it can show the PBGC that it can pay the money owed to all participants -- or through "distressed termination."
However, the employer must prove to a bankruptcy court or the PBGC that the company can't stay in business unless the pension plan is terminated.
I now will have to wait to get my measly Booth pension until I am 62 or 65; I was going to draw at 55.
I hope I am reading it wrong, but we've never received notice from the PBGC before. I called the PBGC, which indicates our plan is not yet managed by them. Guess I'll start calling tomorrow."
If the lump sum payout was large enough, I'd jump at the chance to take a lump sum payment that I could invest and draw off rather than worry annually about the health of my pension. In fact, when I retired I asked personnel if I could just take a lump sum payment and was told that option was no longer available.
I'd welcome anyone who has, or gets, more information on the letter.