US - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) overall deficit has been reduced by almost US$3bn, its annual management report reveals.
However, the program posted premium income of about $1.40bn in 2008, a slight decrease from $1.48bn in 2007.
The deficit of the insurance program for multi-employer pension plans was cut in half to $473m - a $482m improvement from the $955m deficit reported a year earlier.
And the report showed potential exposure to future pension losses from financially weak companies decreased by more than a third to $47bn.
During the year, the single-employer program took in 67 newly terminated pension plans, and overall benefit payments remained relatively flat at $4.3bn from 2007 to 2008.
PBGC director Charles Millard said: "PBGC's lower deficit is good news, although it is important to remember that the deficit number is only a snapshot of where we stood on September 30.
"Successful negotiations with companies in bankruptcy protected workers' pensions and sliced hundreds of millions of dollars in liabilities off our books."
Millard explained favourable interest rate changes had reduced the corporation's liabilities, and careful stewardship of investments limited losses to 6.5% of assets.
He added: "Although the current turbulence in our economy will mean a challenging environment in 2009, the PBGC has the resources to meet its commitments to America's retirees for many years to come."
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