Committee on Education and Labor : U.S. House of Representatives

Press Releases

U.S. Pension Agency Lost Almost $5 Billion in Stocks in FY 2008
Loss was $1.7 billion in September alone

October 24, 2008


WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s investment losses now total almost $5 billion in fiscal year 2008, according to information released at a House Education and Labor Committee hearing today.

Earlier this week, the PBGC reported a $3.1 billion loss in equity investment in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2008. The September loss of $1.7 billion in stocks increased PBGC’s total losses for the fiscal year to $4.8 billion.

The dramatic loss comes at a time when the PBGC is beginning to implement a new controversial investment policy approved in February. The new policy would significantly shift PBGC assets from fixed-income securities, such as U.S. Treasuries, into more risky securities like real estate, emerging market debt, junk bonds and venture equities.

“With the current market turmoil, we have to ask the question whether it is wise to invest our nation’s pension backstop in volatile equities,” said U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the committee.

The head of the PBGC, Charles Millard, appeared before the House Education and Labor Committee today regarding the agency's financial problems that may threaten the retirement security of millions of Americans. The PBGC is a government agency that insures traditional private-sector pension plans, manages failed pension plans and pays benefits to workers of those plans.

To view the PBGC investment documents, click here.

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Contact: Aaron Albright / Rachel Racusen
2181 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515