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Northwest Bankruptcy Underscores Larger Pension Issues

Law360 (March 15, 2006, 12:00 AM EST) -- As the U.S. Department of Labor begins its investigation into Northwest Airlines’ pension plans, the controversy surrounding the bankrupt carrier’s alleged “systematic shortchanging” highlights a deeper problem: how to insure pension plans remain adequately funded in the face of financial difficulties.

On Wednesday, Northwest Airlines announced that it had turned over documents, including some sensitive material, to government investigators, two months after being subpoenaed by the Labor Department.

The struggling carrier drew suspicion after filing for bankruptcy last September, only one day before a $65 million...
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