BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.
To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.
To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.
Hurt by falling interest rates, which boosted the value of plan liabilities, as well as mediocre investment results, the funding levels of the nation’s largest employer-sponsored pension plans slipped in 2011, according to a Towers Watson & Co. analysis.
Towers Watson’s analysis of financial statements filed by sponsors of the 100 largest pension programs found that plans on average were 78% funded at the end of 2011, down from 2010, when plans on average were 83% funded. Pension plan size was based on plan liabilities at the end of 2010.
Plan liabilities shot up to nearly $1.259 trillion compared with about $1.136 trillion at year-end 2010. In all, plans were underfunded by $260.1 billion at the end of 2011, up from $173.5 billion in 2010. At the end of 2007 before the plunge in the equities’ markets and the start of the Great Recession, the plans had an aggregate surplus of $85.3 billion.
Only 39% of employers’ plans were at least 80% funded at the end of 2011, down from 64% in 2010, according to the analysis, which was released last week.
On the other hand, 56% of employers in 2011 had pension programs whose funded percentages ranged between 60% and 79.9%, a sharp increase from 2010, when 32% of employers had programs with funded levels in that range.
Only 26% of defined contribution and defined benefit plan executives conduct regular operational and regulatory compliance reviews, according to a Towers Watson & Co. survey on retirement plan governance issues.