Defined Benefit Pensions:

Survey of Sponsors of Large Defined Benefit Pension Plans (GAO-08-818SP, July 2008), an E-supplement to GAO-08-817

GAO-08-818SP: Published: Jul 21, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2008.

Additional Materials:


Barbara D. Bovbjerg
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Office of Public Affairs
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Over the last five years, a number of large, high profile employers have announced their intention to freeze-- an amendment to the plan to limit some or all future pension accruals for some or all plan participants-- their larger defined benefit (DB) plans that represent a significant portion of plan liabilities and plan participants in the private DB system. To better understand the current plan freeze environment and its significance to the DB system going forward, GAO conducted a study of sponsors of tax-qualified, single-employer, defined benefit (DB) plans that had 100 or more total participants. Specifically, we surveyed a stratified probability sample of plan sponsors about their experiences with DB plans and plan freezes. We obtained a weighted response rate of 78 percent. A more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology is contained in our report: Defined Benefit Pensions: Plan Freezes Affect Millions of Participants and May Pose Retirement Income Challenges, GAO-08-817 (Washington, D.C.: July 21, 2008). We administered the survey from November, 2007 through May 2008 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

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