The percentage of union plans that are fully funded rose to 79%in 2000 from 77% the year before, according to a survey of 462 multi-employer plans by The Segal Co. The average funded ratio was 97%, the same as in 1999, but a percentage point higher than reported in the previous three annual surveys. Pension plans representing workers in the retail and food industries were better funded than plans in other areas, with sufficient assets, on average, to cover 99.7% of vested benefits.
As expected, larger plans were better funded than smaller ones. Each of the 10 plans with more than $2 billion in assets was fully funded, while plans with fewer than 500 participants had an average 96% funded ratio.