The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) insures the pension benefits of more than 44 million people. Since its inception in 1974, PBGC's assets have grown from about $34 million to almost $80 billion in 2010, largely through assets received in plan terminations. Despite significant swings in PBGC's investment history, there has been little focus on the extent to which it has met its investment goals, the nature of its investment policies or how they compare with best practices in the industry. GAO examined (1) how PBGC's investment objectives have changed over time and the outcomes associated with those changes, (2) the performance of PBGC's investments, and (3) how well PBGC's investment policies and operations comport with best practices in the industry. To address these questions, GAO reviewed PBGC's investment policy statements and operational procedures; analyzed data on investments; and interviewed PBGC officials, officials from several state pension plans and foreign pension insurers, and other experts.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation||To ensure proper stewardship of PBGC's assets and effective implementation of its investment policy, PBGC should develop a complete set of operating procedures and guidelines consistent with recognized best practices in industry and government.|
|Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation||To ensure a disciplined and long-term approach to investment, PBGC and its board of directors should develop and maintain a comprehensive investment policy statement that provides clear organizational accountability, well-defined goals, and risk management parameters.|