Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Defined Benefit (DB) plan freezes lose momentum

Big businesses have put the kibosh on freezing defined benefit plans according to this story from the Employee Benefit News.

Among Fortune 1,000 firms, DB plan freezes dropped from 7% of companies in 2006 to 4% in 2007. Last year, new freezes showed the highest increase, with 42 additional companies on the list with frozen plans, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, an HR consulting firm, reports.

In addition, among 300 employers with pension plan assets of more than $100 million, nearly 60% said their plans were open to new hires and will remain open.

“Undoubtedly, some companies will freeze their plans in the future, but it appears that trend has peaked,” says Kevin Wagner, a senior retirement consultant at Watson Wyatt. “With less regulatory uncertainty and funding volatility better under control, the environment is now a more positive one for pension plan sponsors.”