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PBGC base premium to rise in 2007


WASHINGTON--The premiums that employers with defined benefit plans pay the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will increase slightly next year.

The base premium--now $30 a year per plan participant--will increase to $31. That increase is the result of a provision in a 2005 federal law that not only raised--effective for the 2006 plan year--the base premium to $30 per participant from $19, but also mandated that premiums--starting in 2007--be adjusted to reflect changes in the national average weekly wage during the prior year.

In 2005, the last year for which information is available, the PBGC collected about $1.45 billion in premiums in its single-employer insurance program. Of that $1.45 billion, about $664 million was in base premiums and $787 million was in variable-rate premiums, which are paid by employers with underfunded plans.

The premiums are used to help pay for benefits promised to participants in plans taken over by the PBGC, which currently has a deficit of nearly $23 billion.