Cornell University

ILR Online webcast series

April 1, Online

"Pensions, Bankruptcies and Baby Boomers: Protecting Employees and Sustaining Companies"

Date: Monday, April 1, 2013
Time: 12:00-12:45 p.m. (EDT) 

View the webcast.

This webcast is free of charge.
This webcast will be closed captioned.

The recession of the late 2000s is officially over, but its toll on retirement security in the U.S. continues. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal corporation established to insure benefits from private, defined benefit pension plans. PBGC protects the retirement incomes of more than 44 million American workers in more than 27,500 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. 

Josh Gotbaum, the Director of the PBGC, will discuss the role the PBGC has played in such recent bankruptcies as American Airlines and Hawker Beechcraft. Some questions and topics that will be discussed include:

  • How does the PBGC balance the interests of employees with the needs of companies to remain financially viable?
  • What does PBGC do to preserve pension plans, in and out of bankruptcy?
  • What is the future of defined benefit plans, and are there innovative, hybrid substitutes for defined benefit plans?
  • What can distressed organizations saddled with large pension liabilities learn from troubled pension plans that have been preserved?

What have you always wanted to know about these complex issues and challenges? Submit your question when you register, and we'll incorporate as many as we can into the webcast presentation.


Josh Gotbaum, Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Director 

Gotbaum has more than three decades of experience helping manage and advise public, private and non-profit institutions. In the private sector, he advised both employers and labor unions in matters including mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructurings. Gotbaum is also an alumnus of the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he was the executive associate director and controller, and has held other senior government positions. Appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as director of the PBGC in 2010, he has been a forceful advocate for preserving pension plans whenever possible and for other actions to expand retirement options.

Esta R. Bigler, Esq., Director of ILR's Labor and Employment Law Program

Bigler directs ILR's Labor and Employment Program, bringing together social scientists and attorneys through a wide range of programs on critical and evolving workplace issues. Bigler, an ILR alumna, has held positions with the National Labor Relations Board; Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C.; and NYC's Bureau of Labor Services as deputy director/general counsel.

Joe Grasso, MILR, ILR Associate Dean for Finance and Administration

Grasso has 25 years of financial and managerial experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors and regularly teaches finance and non-profit management courses at Cornell. He has held senior financial and managerial positions at several colleges and universities and in New York state government.

This webcast is co-sponsored by the Labor and Employment Law Program and the Institute for Compensation Studies.

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