- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 30, 2004

Bradley D. Belt is making sure millions of workers will get their pensions as executive director for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

The D.C. public entity was created by Congress in 1974 under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to be the insurer of last resort for pension plans.

The organization is not funded through taxpayer dollars. Instead, it operates from investment returns and insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans.

Mr. Belt, 45, has been on the job for a month at the 800-employee government corporation.

He is responsible for the management of insurance programs for pensions, except for 401(k)s, for 1 million workers and retirees. The federal entity pays out about $3 billion annually in pension benefits, although that number has been increasing, Mr. Belt said.

Mr. Belt also is working with the Bush administration in constructing a policy for strengthening pension-funding security. The organization, which is operating with a $10 billion deficit, lost money after the 2001 recession jolted the stock markets.

Pensions, which tend to be heavily invested in stocks, have lost value and several companies have gone bankrupt since 2001, Mr. Belt said.

He expects the policy plan to be released “in the near future.”

Mr. Belt, who has 20 years of executive management experience, was nominated to the position by Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, one of the three directors for the organization’s board.

“Brad Belt has an impressive array of experiences in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. His financial expertise will be very valuable in protecting the retirement security of millions of American workers,” Mrs. Chao said.

Before assuming the position, Mr. Belt was president of the Capital Market Group, a D.C. consulting firm to corporations and nonprofit organizations. He was selected by President Bush last year to serve on the U.S. Social Security Board.

“I believe with my unique combination of experience in the private sector, regulatory arena, legislation, U.S. Senate Banking Committee, I can bring to the table a different perspective” when working on large policy issues, he said.

Mr. Belt lives in the District with his wife, Laura, and their two children.

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