Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation fails audit

The federal agency in charge of making sure your pension will be paid even if the pension plan at the company you worked for goes up in flames has massive internal problems with record keeping and other fiduciary slips.

The Center for Public Integrity reports:

"PBGC did not have effective internal control over financial reporting (including safeguarding assets) and compliance with laws and regulations and its operations," said Inspector General Rebecca Anne Batts, the corporation's internal watchdog.

A Center review of hundreds of pages of memos, audits, and internal reports shows the corporation has been unable to make several guarantees about its own work.

Despite being the custodian of some of Americans' most private data, PBGC suffers from such lax security that a contractor was able in 2008 to download the pension and Social Security numbers of 1,300 Americans to an unsecured electronic thumb drive that was then lost at an Ohio train station, according to documents and interviews. The corporation also has been criticized for letting its contractors hire employees with inadequate experience or education, and has been cited repeatedly since 1997 for failing to create a unified financial management system to better safeguard its funds. It lacks the ability, for instance, to independently confirm the investment revenue figures reported by a contractor hired to engage in securities lending on its behalf, according to audit reports and interviews.

And the PBGC's former chief executive was the subject of a year-long criminal investigation that ended in March with no criminal charges but a conclusion that his conduct raised "serious ethical concerns," documents show.

And these are the same folks we will trust with administering one sixth of the American economy when they take over health care?