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Small employers fuel recent growth of defined contribution plans


More than 90% of pension plans that have been formed in recent years have been defined contribution plans, with the overwhelming majority of those plans set up by small employers, according to a new government report.

Of all new pension plans formed between 2009 and 2011, 93% were defined contribution plans, and just 7% were defined benefit plans, the Government Accountability Office reported.

Of the new plans formed, 79% were small defined contribution plans — plans with less than 100 participants, the GAO said in its report released Monday.

Of those new small defined contribution plans, 26% were sponsored by four kinds of professional organizations: doctors' offices, dentists' offices, lawyers' offices' and other non-categorized providers of professional services, the GAO said.