More than 200 pension plans surveyed earlier this month already have or are actively considering freezing benefits. Since Jan. 1, 2001, 13% of the 1,000 plans surveyed by Aon Consulting have frozen pension benefits, and another 2% are planning to freeze benefits within the remaining two months of 2003. Six percent are considering such a move.
Just under half of those who have or are thinking of freezing plans blamed the freezes on having to make contributions. Of those citing contributions, 39% specifically said it was the volatility of contributions. The impact of pension plan expenses on the corporate bottom line was also cited as a reason by more than one-third of those who froze, or are considering freezing, plans.