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GAO Testimony: Airline Plans' Underfunding Illustrates Broader Problems with the Defined Benefit Pension System
U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO]Link to more items from this source
Feb. 7, 2005
13 pages. "[P]roblems include cyclical factors like the so called 'perfect storm' of key economic conditions, in which declines in stock prices lowered the value of pension assets used to pay benefits, while at the same time a decline in interest rates inflated the value of pension liabilities. The combined 'bottom line' result is that many plans today have insufficient resources to pay all of their future promised benefits. Other long term trends suggest more serious structural problems to the system, including a declining number of DB plans, a decline in the percentage of participants that are active (as opposed to retired) workers, and other factors. Existing pension funding rules and the current structure for paying PBGC insurance premiums have not ensured that sponsors contribute enough to their plans to pay promised benefits." [GAO-05-108T, published Oct. 7, 2004, released Oct. 7, 2004]

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