The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) released the Pension Insurance Data Book 2007, which contains statistical trends related to defined benefit retirement plans in the private sector. The Data Book also contains a feature article examining standard terminations, the most common procedure used to end PBGC-insured single-employer defined benefit plans.
In a standard termination, the plan sponsor opts to end a plan with assets sufficient to pay all benefits earned by those enrolled. This is done by purchasing annuities for participants and beneficiaries from a private-sector insurance company or, if the plan permits, making lump-sum payments.
In fiscal year 2007, 1,225 single-employer plans—4% of all existing plans at the beginning of the year—ended in standard terminations. In the same period, the PBGC took over 110 insolvent plans. Most of the plans that ended in a standard termination were small plans—75% had fewer than 25 participants, while more than 90% had fewer than 100 participants.
The Data Book contains detailed statistics, graphs and tables on the financial conditions of the PBGC’s two programs covering single-employer plans and multiemployer plans. It contains other vital statistics such as the number of people and plans protected by the programs, the people receiving or eligible to receive benefits from the PBGC and benefits paid to them, and claims against the programs.
The Data Book is available at www.pbgc.gov/docs/2007databook.pdf.