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Belt Quits the PBGC, but Expects Pension Bill Passage

March 24, 2006
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Brad Belt, director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., has announced that he is resigning but he says he still expects the pension bill to go through before he steps down in May.

If passed, the pension reform bill would, among other things, force all companies with defined benefit plans to put enough money in their plans to meet 100 percent pension obligations.

On March 23, Belt announced his resignation, causing some observers to wonder if it signaled that the pension bill wouldn’t pass after all or if it meant that Belt didn’t want to take credit for the final law. "It’s a little surprising that Belt is leaving before he can take credit for whatever comes out of Congress," one Washington D.C. attorney who requested anonymity says.

Belt may want to leave before the final bill passes because he didn’t see eye to eye with the Bush administration about how aggressive the final funding rules should be, the attorney says. "I think he felt there should be no relaxation of funding, while the Administration was more willing to negotiate parts of relief."

But in an interview with Workforce Management yesterday, Belt denied these reasons and says he expects the pension bill to pass before he leaves in May.

"I am very proud of the work we have done at the PBGC and I think the pension bill is on its way to being passed," he says.

Belt says he is leaving the PBGC after at little more than two years because it is "a taxing job" both in form and financially. One of the hardest parts of the job is recruiting good talent with necessary accounting experience because the pay is significantly lower than what prospects can make in the private sector.

With two daughters, 8 and 12, Belt says he needs to think about paying for their college education, he says. The salary at his current job maxes out at $152,000.

Belt does not know what he will do next, but did say he is considering going into financial services.

Dan Kreuter, president of DAK Associates, a Conshohocken, Pennsylvania based recruiter in the financial services industry, says with his experience Belt could make $1 million a year.

"If he wants to make money, his pain and suffering will be well rewarded," he says.

Jessica Marquez

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