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Agency preserves pensions of 1,700 Hawaiian Telcom workers

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A federal agency has helped preserve the pensions of 1,700 Hawaiian Telcom workers who were in danger of losing their benefits because of the company’s bankruptcy filing.

The move by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. was part of a broader effort by the agency to save the pensions of more than 53,000 workers from nine companies during the final three months of 2010.

Hawaiian Telecom sought Chapter 11 protection in December 2008 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The company emerged from creditor protection in October 2010.
Last year the PBGC paid about $37 million to almost 4,000 residents of Hawaii whose pensions were taken over by the agency.

The PBGC guarantees payment of basic pension benefits earned by 44 million American workers and retirees. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed entirely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and from the assets and recoveries on behalf of plans that have been assumed by PBGC.

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