The past eight years have been tumultuous for employers sponsoring defined benefit pension plans and for the federal program offered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which guarantees benefits offered by the plans.
First, the PBGC was hit by massive claims as it took on the hugely underfunded pension plans offered by several major airlines looking to cut benefit costs amid massive operating losses. Then the recession and the poor investment environment caused more problems for corporations and the PBGC. While Congress was slow to act, pension funding reforms were eventually introduced and passed. But pension plan problems still loom big. Historically low interest rates, for example, have inflated the value of plan liabilities, leading employers to look for new ways to “derisk” their pension plans.
Throughout all the back and forth on reforms and pension plan terminations, Business Insurance cartoonist Roger Schillerstrom, in his inimitable way, has chronicled the changes. The following photo gallery highlights some of his work. View the gallery.