Plan sponsors froze just less than 10% of all pension plans in 2003, according to a new PBGC study. The study, based on annual Form 5500s filings, stated that 9.4% of all plans stopped accruing new benefits for participants in 2003. However, only 2.5% of all participants were affected because most frozen plans are small. Just 2.2% of all plans with more than 5,000 participants were frozen, while 10.1% of all small plans were frozen that year.
"Reports of a mass exodus from the defined benefit pension system appear to be overstated," Bradley Belt, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. executive director, said in a statement. "As long as employees place a high value on defined benefit pension plans, companies will continue to view them as a valuable recruitment and retention tool."