Pension Plans:

Termination of Plans With Excess Assets

HRD-86-89BR: Published: Apr 30, 1986. Publicly Released: May 30, 1986.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on defined benefit pension plan terminations involving the reversion of excess plan assets to employers.

GAO found that: (1) a higher-than-expected rate of return on investments was most often cited as the reason plans had excess assets at termination; (2) changes in corporate structure and employers' desire to use excess plan assets for non-pension-related purposes were most often cited as primary reasons for plan terminations; (3) most terminated plans were replaced by other plans, and defined contribution plans were used more often than defined benefit plans as replacements; and (4) Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor guidelines encouraged some employers to provide defined benefit replacement plans rather than defined contribution plans or no replacement plans at all.

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 8, 2016

May 5, 2016

Apr 13, 2016

Apr 4, 2016

Mar 1, 2016

Oct 29, 2015

Oct 27, 2015

  • retirement icon, source: PhotoDisc

    Social Security's Future:

    Answers to Key Questions
    GAO-16-75SP: Published: Oct 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2015.

Sep 30, 2015

Looking for more? Browse all our products here