The PBGC today reported a $3.64 billion deficit - its biggest ever - for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2002. The agency's loss is an $11.37 billion swing from the $7.73 billion surplus it reported a year earlier.
Agency officials blamed most of the deficit on the rising number of pension plans it has taken over and reserve assets for plans it expects to take over in coming months, at a total cost of $9.31 billion. The PBGC has also lost $1.89 billion on its equity investments.
Steve A. Kandarian, executive director, said the Bush administration is examining several proposals to strengthen the agency's financial condition, including overhauling its investments - of which the law requires 30% be invested in equities. The agency is also considering ways of requiring companies to "make pension promises they can fund, and fund promises they make," he said.