The process of transferring our pension to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has been going on for well over a year. We were relieved when the PBGC accepted our claim.
The ability to meet pension obligations is wholly separate from our capability to fully continue with our programs and projects here at home and around the world.
A number of non-profits with defined pension plans, as well as for-profit organizations, have asked for the assistance of the PBGC and continue to thrive. With the help of the PBGC, B’nai B’rith is now on sound financial footing to move forward with our mission.
It was not an easy decision to ask the PBGC for help. But the request was made for a greater good—to continue the good works we do, and to ensure former employees and current pension-eligible employees will have their pensions when they need them.
The PBGC was created to ensure people are covered in their retirement, and B’nai B’rith paid insurance to the PBGC to help the agency meet its obligations.
The world economic situation dating to 2008 took a toll on B’nai B’rith and countless other non-profit organizations. That, coupled with new Pension Protection Act regulations which inadvertently placed an insurmountable burden on B’nai B’rith and countless other organizations, meant we had to act.
Even the PBGC told JTA: “In this case they really tried their best to support this pension plan,” the PBGC spokesman said. “What with the economy being what it is for charitable organizations and donations, it’s difficult. They applied for protection from us and we were there to support them as we should be.”
The pension decision allows us to look ahead and focus on the kind of work we have been rightly recognized for the world over during nearly 170 years of service.
B’nai B’rith’s appeal to the PBGC was a strategic decision that allows us to focus on our mission. Our work in pro-Israel advocacy, human rights, public policy, seniors issues and disaster and humanitarian assistance continues. At our recent spectacular policy conference the full range of what B’nai B’rith can do was on impressive display.
The economy worldwide is still struggling. That has impacted charitable giving across the board—suppressing giving while increasing need. B’nai B’rith, the oldest and most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization, is launching its 170th year of service. We move forward with a strong sense of purpose, and knowing that our tough decision on the pension has lead to long-term greater stability.