Aggregate contributions to U.S. corporate defined benefit plans studied in a Mercer analysis are projected to be $5 billion in 2010 — 400% higher than last year — because of requirements under the 2006 Pension Protection Act.
The aggregate funded ratio for calendar-year plans studied is projected to drop to 92% in 2010, down from 111% in 2009, the analysis said.
Thirty-six percent of plans are less than 80% funded, compared with 7% of plans at the beginning of 2009, according to the analysis.
Craig Rosenthal, a partner in Mercer’s retirement, risk and finance business, said in a telephone interview that some plans can use past contributions that exceeded minimum contributions to help satisfy 2010 funding requirements. He said 35% of the 874 private-sector funds Mercer studied collectively hold about 90% of such credit balances.