The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. on Thursday announced it would pay $270 million in pension benefits to more than 19,000 current and future retirees of bankrupt Furniture Brands International of St. Louis.

The agency, which will hold an auction today to sell the furniture maker’s assets, said it would take over the pension fund, which is about 55 percent funded. The fund has $337 million in assets against $609 million in future unfunded liabilities. The agency, which is the government’s insurer for private pension plans, said it expected to make up all but $2 million of the shortfall.

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