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Bill Would Bar PBGC Chief From Manager Selection

By Staff Report

Jul. 31, 2009

The director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. would be barred from any involvement in hiring money managers or from “participating in any matter that may have or appear to have a conflict of interest” under legislation introduced in the Senate on Thursday, July 30.


The bill, introduced by a coalition of Senate Democrats, also would expand the PBGC’s board to seven members from the current three, require it to meet at least four times a year and give the PBGC’s advisory committee and inspector general direct access to the board.


The PBGC board—composed of the secretaries of Treasury, Labor and Commerce—has met only 20 times since 1980, according to a news release from Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin. Kohl is chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.


“The GAO has indicated for years that the PBGC board members do not have enough time or resources to provide the necessary policy direction and oversight,” Sen. Kohl said in the news release. “The role of PBGC is too crucial to allow its governance to slip through the cracks.”


The legislation was spurred in part by allegations that Charles E.F. Millard, the PBGC’s former director, may have been inappropriately involved in the hiring of money managers at the agency. These are charges that Millard, through his attorney, has denied.


Co-sponsors of the bill, according to the news release, are Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, and Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin.


Filed by Douglas Halonen of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.


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