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Jonathan Henkel

Senior PBGC Negotiations Advisor


Washington, D.C.

Practice Areas


Jonathan L. Henkel works closely with the firm’s lawyers in advising clients regarding PBGC distress terminations, PBGC’s pursuit of termination and other liabilities, and other matters involving negotiations with PBGC.

Jon retired from PBGC after a 30-year career during which he made significant contributions to PBGC’s plan termination and trusteeship program.  Shortly after his retirement, he returned to PBGC as a senior financial analyst with Deloitte (a major PBGC contractor), where he supported PBGC’s Corporate Finance and Restructuring Department in determining whether to recommend plan terminations for eligible companies and by negotiating and valuing employer liability settlements regarding those plans that were terminated and trusteed.

As one of PBGC’s key analysts and managers in the termination program, he worked closely with PBGC attorneys, actuaries and corporate policy staff in making plan termination and trusteeship recommendations regarding pension plans of financially troubled companies.  Upon plan termination, he negotiated settlements on behalf of PBGC for employer liability, unpaid contributions, premiums, and other amounts owed to PBGC.  He also negotiated settlements on behalf of PBGC with employers maintaining ongoing pension plans, so as to provide enhanced protections to guard against PBGC losses in the event of a future plan termination.

During his 30-year career at PBGC, Jon served as president of the PBGC Chapter of the Federal Managers’ Association, as the Insurance Operations Department’s information officer for any external query concerning PBGC’s termination program, as PBGC’s IRS Safeguard officer, as PBGC’s customer service training facilitator, and as the manager of a number of highly successful Combined Federal Campaigns. He also developed key guidance for PBGC’s Termination and Reportable Events Program relating to audit guidelines, processing procedures, and financial valuations, assisted PBGC’s Executive Management in establishing 5-year strategic planning goals, performed financial modeling for PBGC Executive Management as a member of the agency’s LTV plan restoration team, and taught a wide variety of professional development courses.

Jon volunteers over 10 hours a week at two not-for-profit Therapeutic Riding Centers assisting in lessons for children and adult riders with mental and physical disabilities.

Jon served as Senior PBGC Negotiations Advisor at Keightley & Ashner LLP, the nation’s premier PBGC-focused law firm, from 2016 until he joined the Wagner Law Group with the rest of the Keightley & Ashner team in January 2022.