Almost two-thirds of U.S. corporate defined benefit pension plans are closed to new entrants, according to a new SEI survey.
Thirty-six percent of U.S. corporate DB plans are active and open to new hires, while 31% are closed, 30% are frozen and 3% have been terminated, the survey shows.
The SEI Pension Lifecycle Meter survey aims to provide a snapshot of the status of corporate pension plans. The survey will be released in May and November.
Jon Waite, director, investment management advice and chief actuary at SEI’s Institutional Group, said in a telephone interview that SEI has asked the question about the status of plans in a variety of surveys for “the past several years” and finally decided to establish a regular survey to follow plan status. He said clients often ask for such statistics because “they want to see what everybody else is doing.”
“My takeaway was mild surprise that the percentage of active plans has dropped back to 36%,” Mr. Waite said. “That had been in the 50% range for some time and to see that drop back quite so much was somewhat telling that this trend is continuing on. It may be picking up again, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
The survey of 125 companies was conducted in April and May.