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Foxx Subpoenas PBGC After It Impedes Committee Investigation into $127 Million in Overpayments for Dead Teamsters

WASHINGTON –Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) served a subpoena on Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Director Gordon Hartogensis after PBGC failed to provide adequate responses to the Committee’s previous inquiries regarding the agency’s gross negligence in overpaying $127 million in taxpayer money to the Central States Pension Fund for deceased participants.

In the cover letter accompanying the subpoena, Foxx writes: “The Committee is concerned about PBGC’s overpayment of $127 million in taxpayer money to the Central States Pension Fund for deceased participants. Accordingly, the Committee wrote to PBGC twice seeking information about overpayments to multiemployer pension programs and about PBGC’s efforts to recoup these overpayments on behalf of taxpayers. At PBGC’s request, the Committee provided two extensions to permit PBGC more time to produce responsive materials. Unfortunately, PBGC’s responses have left significant gaps. What is more, the responses show a complete and total lack of respect for hardworking taxpayers’ dollars.”

The letter continues: “Neither of PBGC’s responses made any attempt to explain how it justified making Special Financial Assistance (SFA) payments beyond the amount authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act. … While PBGC’s March 11 letter did not identify the steps it took to quantify overpayments paid to other multiemployer pension plans, it referred to what would appear to be an 11th-hour request for information from PBGC to plans. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) subsequent statement on March 14 that multiemployer pension plans are obligated to repay these overpayments comes at the 11th hour and does not explain the months of wasted resources and delay that PBGC perpetrated; nor does DOL’s statement shed light on PBGC’s reasoning for its position.”

Foxx concludes: “As the Committee noted in its February 26 letter, the information it is seeking is necessary for consideration of H.R. 7135, the Ghost Handouts and Overpayments Stop Today Act (GHOST Act), or similar legislation to ensure PBGC meets its obligation to reclaim the full amount of any overpayment it made in the SFA program. PBGC’s failure to provide responsive materials is unacceptable, and as a result, the Committee must now resort to compulsory process.”

To read the full cover letter, click here.


January 16, 2024:The Committee demanded PBGC explain its actions regarding overpayments by January 29. PBGC did not respond until February 9. When PBGC responded, it failed to provide the information requested.

February 26, 2024:The Committee reiterated its requests to PBGC with a one-week deadline. PBGC again required additional time to answer. When PBGC responded on March 11, it again failed to provide complete responses.

March 11, 2024:After significant oversight from the Education and the Workforce Committee, the Department of Labor reversed an earlier PBGC decision and stated that multiemployer pension plans must repay the overpayment amounts.

March 20, 2024:During an oversight hearing with PBGC Director Hartogensis, multiple Committee members requested additional information pertaining to the overpayments. Director Hartogensis failed to satisfy these inquiries.

March 26, 2024:Chairwoman Foxx sent a subpoena to PBGC requiring it to produce documents and information related to its overpayments by April 9, 2024.


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