The PBGC estimates that the plan has $898.2 million in assets to cover $940.8 million in liabilities. If the U.S. District Court in New York approves the termination, the PBGC expects to be responsible for $17.9 million of the $42.6 million shortfall.
The move comes ahead of a December 22 bankruptcy hearing on the sale to senior management of most of the company’s investment management business subsidiaries. In September, Barclays Capital acquired most of Lehman’s capital markets and investment banking operations.
The agency is taking the pre-emptive action because none of the parties involved in the sale of Lehman Brothers’ assets, including Barclays, has taken responsibility for the retirement plan, said Jeffrey Speicher, PBGC spokesman. The agency plans to negotiate a deal with all firms that have a stake in Lehman’s businesses so plan participants can have all of their promised benefits, Speicher said.