Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Department of Energy (DOE) pension fund payments for University of California employees at three DOE laboratories, focusing on whether: (1) DOE can recover the payments if they are unneeded; and (2) provisions in revised contracts will allow DOE to control its future pension costs and prevent unneeded payments.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Energy||1. The Secretary of Energy should: (1) evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of all of the alternatives available to recover surplus pension funds associated with the laboratory employees; and (2) initiate action to recover the surplus funds if recovery is to the government's advantage.|
|Department of Energy||2. To improve control over the Department's liability for pension fund contributions, the Secretary of Energy should review ongoing contracts with all management and operating contractors that have defined benefits pension plans to determine if they provide for DOE approval of pension benefit changes and limit the DOE contribution to that needed to maintain an equilibrium between assets and current liabilities.|
|Department of Energy||3. To improve control over the Department's liability for pension fund contributions, the Secretary of Energy should initiate negotiations with the University of California and other contractors, as necessary, to revise the contracts to implement these controls.|