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PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today welcomed news that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has reached an agreement with The Renco Group Inc. to restore the pension plans of some 1,350 former employees of RG Steel in Warren, Ohio.
The PBGC took responsibility for the plans in 2012, when RG Steel, a Renco subsidiary, began the process of liquidating in bankruptcy court. The PBGC then brought a lawsuit against Renco, alleging that the company attempted to avoid liability for the RG Steel pension plans by concealing a transfer of its ownership interest in RG Steel.
In settling the litigation, Renco has agreed to take the plans back as of June 1, 2016, pay all future benefits to the former RG Steel employees and make back payments to retirees for benefits not guaranteed by PBGC.
Renco will reimburse the agency for benefits that it paid to RG Steel retirees since the PBGC took over the plans, and the company also will pay about $35 million in shutdown benefits to workers that would have gone unpaid had the pension plans not been restored.
Under the settlement, on Sept. 1, 2016, the plan will make participants whole for lost benefits and will begin paying shutdown pension benefits to employees who were laid-off on or before June 11, 2012.
Renco will be required to restore plan funding to at least an 80 percent level by the four-year anniversary of this settlement in 2020, at which point the plan will be able to pay shutdown benefits to Warren employees who were laid off after June 11, 2012.
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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