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Will PBGC payouts be as big as I was counting on?

Maybe not - and that's a major drawback. PBGC payouts have a maximum monthly limit. If your expected benefit was above that amount, you're out of luck. In 2010, the monthly max is $4,500.00 for a 65-year-old who is the only person receiving the benefit, and $4,050.00 if you take a so-called joint-and-survivor benefit that entitles you or your spouse to continue to receive the payment (at 50% of the original payout) when widowed. Anyone younger than 65 gets less than those amounts.

You can check out the sliding payout scale at the PBGC Web site.

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