Yesterday's New York Times has a story about the Department of Labor investigating Northwest Airline for coordinating the timing of its bankruptcy to get maximum benefit of transfering its unfunded pension plan obligations to the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.  As the article puts it, the investigation suggests "the Labor Department is looking for a way to breach an entrenched pattern, in which distressed companies quietly deplete their pension funds over a number of years, then declare bankruptcy and transfer huge obligations to the federal government." 

The DOL working to put more teeth into ERISA's fiduciary duty language?  Great idea!  

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