Private Pensions:

Most Underfunded Plan Sponsors Are Not Making Additional Contributions

T-HRD-93-16: Published: Apr 20, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 1993.


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GAO discussed defined benefit pension plan funding issues. GAO noted that: (1) funding for underfunded plans is not improving, since the number of underfunded plans and the amount of underfunding increased from 1989 to 1991; (2) of 60 underfunded plans sampled, one-third are making additional contributions under an Internal Revenue Code provision, and the remaining plans do not make additional contributions because of offsetting credits or they have not determined whether they have an additional contribution obligation; (3) the failure of plans to determine whether they have an additional contribution obligation may be due to poor enforcement; (4) offsetting credits seriously undermine the effectiveness of the additional contribution provision; and (5) under proposed legislation, 75 percent of the underfunded plans would have their total contributions increased, some by a factor of four, which could prove burdensome to them.

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