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.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has named the 17 members of its inaugural policy board after a competitive application process with 60 candidates.
Labour Party plans to renationalise core industries and require the largest listed companies to hand 10% of shares to employees would be a "double whammy" for pensions, business leaders have warned.
A handful of industry heavyweights have begun trialling a so-called 'mid-life MOT', with positive initial results reported by all those involved.