A settlement has been reached between the Pension BenefitGuarantee Corporation and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC,finalizing a $16.6 million Federal lawsuit over pension debtrelated to a plant closure in 2007.

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Bendix, a supplier of air brake and filtration systems to theheavy-duty commercial vehicle industry, closed its Frankfort,Ky. plant in December of 2007, displacing 63 employees.

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PBGC filed a Federal suit in Cleveland on Sept. 16, 2011,claiming that the company was not following up on itspension obligations - suggesting that Federal law callsfor company liability when more than 20 percent of a pension plan'smembers lose their jobs in a shutdown.

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Since the closure of the plant, Bendix had made $8.2 million inextra contributions to the pension plan, helping to at leastpartially increase its funding status.

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In a statement, PBGC director J. Jioni Palmer says thesettlement typifies the federal agency's new and more proactive stance on similar cases.

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"Plan sponsors have for years asked us to pay attention towhether company actions really put their pensions at risk, and nowwe're doing so," Palmer said. "When companies show the commitmentand ability to protect their workers and retirees, we are nowworking with thiem to recognize that."

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In the settlement, PBGC won't require Bendix to put upcollateral for the additional $8.4 million in pension liability, ifthe company demonstrates a strong financial record through the endof 2012.

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If the company does face financial problems, the settlementcalls for Bendix to provide a letter of credit for the fullamount.

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