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Retirement Security Initiative

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The Office of the Advocate’s Retirement Security Initiative will bring together various pension industry groups, government staff, consultants, actuaries, retirees, and other stakeholders to address challenges to the preservation of America’s private-sector voluntary defined benefit pensions.

Since 1974, PBGC has protected the benefits of over 31 million American workers, retirees, and their families. The Office of the Advocate’s Retirement Security Initiative will explore how PBGC can protect and promote the continuation of these plans for future generations of Americans in accordance with the agency’s statutory mission.

To that end, the Office of the Advocate will be undertaking a series of stakeholder roundtable discussions on these topics throughout 2024, resulting in a comprehensive written final report summarizing the Initiative’s findings and recommendations.


The year 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) – landmark retirement security legislation that established protections of the defined benefit pension system and PBGC.

Since 1974, the defined benefit pension system has evolved, as many plan sponsors moved to defined contribution retirement plans and/or otherwise exited the system. Recognizing the importance of understanding these changes on PBGC and the future of the defined benefit system, the Office of the Advocate studied pension plan de-risking in a two-part study in 2017 and 2018. The two-part study found that most plan sponsors had already taken, or were planning on taking, steps to de-risk their defined benefit pension plans.

Throughout 2023, the Office of the Advocate held informal discussions with various stakeholders, including participant advocacy groups, plan sponsor organizations, academics, pension plan service providers, practitioners, and other interested parties to explore how PBGC can contribute to the continuation and maintenance of the defined benefit pension structure.

These conversations provided the foundation for this year’s upcoming roundtables where we will exchange ideas and discuss ways that PBGC can actively fulfill its statutory mission to preserve, protect, and promote the single-employer defined benefit system. Following the roundtables, the Office of the Advocate will be preparing a report with findings and recommendations.

The background and structure of the initiative are discussed in greater detail on pages 6 and 7 of the Office of the Advocate’s 2023 Annual Report.

The Office of the Advocate’s 2023 paper, What Does Retirement Security Look Like in America?, summarizes the systemic retirement security issues that the Initiative seeks to address.


Office of the Advocate Retirement Security Initiative Reading Materials

Contact Information

Contact for questions about the Retirement Security Initiative or other information regarding the services and support available through the Office of the Advocate.

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