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News & Policy

PBGC Publishes Updated Data Book

August 18, 2006

WASHINGTON-The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today issued a new edition of its annual statistical reference work, the Pension Insurance Data Book 2005. The book provides researchers, journalists, and others interested in the federal pension insurance program with easily accessible, detailed statistics for PBGC's two insurance programs covering single-employer and multiemployer pension plans.

The Pension Insurance Data Book 2005 tracks the experience of PBGC's insurance programs and the defined benefit pension plans they protect. Defined benefit plans are traditional pension plans that promise workers a specific monthly benefit at retirement.

For each of PBGC's insurance programs, the book includes graphs and tables on the financial condition of the program, the number of people and plans protected by the program, the number of people receiving or eligible to receive benefits from PBGC and the benefits paid to them, the amount of claims against the single-employer program, and other vital statistics.

The new edition includes an interpretive essay on measuring pension funding. The eight-page article explains how and why different methods and assumptions may be used by the PBGC and private-sector plan sponsors to value plan assets and liabilities. The essay also discusses advantages and shortcomings in the various methods for gauging a pension plan's financial health.

The data book is available on PBGC's Web site at Single copies of the publication may be obtained by writing to: PBGC Data Book, Room 12108, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005-4026. Requests also may be submitted by FAX to (202) 326-4344.

The PBGC is a federal corporation created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to guarantee payment of basic pension benefits earned by workers. Its two insurance programs cover 44 million American workers and retirees participating in over 30,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans, including some 1,600 multiemployer plans. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed largely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and by investment returns.

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PBGC No. 06-62