Underfunded Pension Plans:

Federal Government's Growing Exposure Indicates Need For Stronger Funding Rules

T-HEHS-94-149: Published: Apr 19, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 1994.

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GAO discussed its ongoing study of current pension plan funding rules and the impact of proposed pension reform legislation on underfunded plans insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). GAO noted that: (1) underfunding in PBGC-insured single-employer plans increased from $31 billion in 1990 to over $50 billion in 1992; (2) current law provides for an offset that either completely eliminates or significantly reduces requirements that sponsors of underfunded plans make additional funding contributions; (3) H.R. 298 would require even fewer plan sponsors to make additional but significantly larger funding contributions; (4) H.R. 3396 would increase the number of sponsors required to make additional contributions and also increase the contribution amount; (5) a solvency rule, actuarial restrictions, and increased deficit reduction contributions included in H.R. 3396 could also increase contributions for underfunded plans; and (6) H.R. 3396 should be strengthened further to ensure that more sponsors of underfunded plans make additional contributions.

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