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News & Policy

PBGC Publishes Pension Insurance Data Book 2007

December 31, 2008

WASHINGTON - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today released the Pension Insurance Data Book 2007, which offers information on statistical trends related to defined benefit retirement plans "in the private sector.

The 2007 Data Book features an article examining the characteristics of 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. To achieve this, the plan will either buy annuities for participants and beneficiaries from a private-sector insurance company that provides annuities, or if the plan permits, pay the benefits directly to participants as a lump-sum distribution.

In fiscal year 2007, 1,225 single-employer plans ended in standard terminations, representing about 4 percent of all single-employer plans that the agency insured at the beginning of the year. Additionally, in fiscal year 2007, the agency became trustee of 110 insolvent plans that were sponsored by financially distressed employers.

A majority of the single-employer plans that ended in standard termination during FY 2007 were small plans. Seventy-five percent had fewer than 25 participants, and more than 90 percent had fewer than 100 participants.

The Data Book provides researchers, journalists and others interested in the federal pension insurance program easily accessible, detailed statistics for PBGC's two separate programs covering single-employer and multiemployer plans. For both of PBGC's insurance programs, the book includes graphs and tables on the financial condition of the program, numbers of people and plans protected by the program, the people receiving or eligible to receive benefits from PBGC and the benefits paid to them, claims against the program, and other vital statistics.

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. Email: Publications@PBGC.GOV.

The PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It currently guarantees payment of basic pension benefits earned by 44 million American workers and retirees participating in more than 29,000 private-sector defined benefit pension 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 PBGC's investment returns.

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PBGC No. 09-10