US - The amount of money paid out by the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has jumped from US$900m in fiscal year 2000 to $3.7bn in FY2005.
In the latest edition of its annual statistical work, the 'Pension Insurance Data Book 2005', the PBGC also stated its deficits now exceeded $23bn.
"The record number of claims [since 2000] also brought to the PBGC a record number of plan participants owed benefits under the pension insurance programme," the book stated.
"During the past decade, the net financial position of the PBGC’s single-employer plan insurance programme shifted from deficit to surplus and back to a record deficit."
The book stated more than 80% of all claims against the PBGC had come since 2000, with the largest claims from plans in two distressed industries, airlines and steel, which together accounted for 75% of the claims received over the FY2000-FY2005 period.
It is also noteworthy that 9% of ongoing PBGC-insured plans have been frozen so that workers in those plans no longer earn additional credits toward retirement benefits.
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