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Fate of defined benefit plans

Publication Date: February 20, 2017

The flood of cheap money unleashed by central banks’ quantitative easing efforts to combat the global financial crisis has only added to the pressures that corporate and public plan sponsors face.

Stories from the report

Credit easing, regulation put plans on critical list

U.S. corporate defined benefit plans have been closing and freezing benefit accruals for decades, with a number of industry experts pointing to the very regulations meant to protect them as a top contributing factor.

Public funds stay strong despite major challenges

Experts point to ERISA and the Pension Protection Act of 2006 as contributing to the demise of private-sector pension plans, but public plans are not expected to follow their corporate brethren anytime soon.

401(k) plans are gradually picking up features of their DB brethren

As 401(k)s become the standard for private-sector workers, they are slowly adding defined benefit plan-like features.

Charts and data