Pensions Still The Bedrock Of Retirement Plans

January 30, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.COM) - Large company retirement plans continued to experience double-digit growth in 2000, but defined benefit plans continued to do the "heavy lifting" when it comes to taking care of employees, according to a new survey.

The survey includes the experience of more than 100 corporate plan sponsor members of the Committee on the Investment of Employee Benefit Assets, an affiliate of the Association for Financial Professionals (CIEBA of AFP).

One hundred percent of CIEBA’s members sponsor both DB and DC plans, with DB plans representing the primary retirement plan type provided by CIEBA members. Compared with their DC programs, respondent DB plans:

  • had 57% more assets
  • covered 85% more participants
  • paid out about 27% more in benefits

“Once again, large companies have said they have not abandoned traditional defined benefit plans,” said Bob Angelica, CIEBA chairman, and chairman and chief executive officer of the AT&T Investment Management Corporation. “DC plan assets have grown faster, but DB plans still are the bedrock of retirement plans.”

Survey Says

The survey also found that

  • DB plan benefit payments continued to represent about 6% of year-end assets for the fifth consecutive year.
  • DC plan benefit payments representing almost 8% of year-end assets also exceeded contributions for the fifth year in a row
  • DC plan contributions average over $5,600 per participant, with about 28% provided from employer match
  • 86% of the survey companies provided information on investment concepts to their DC plan participants
  • At year-end, 16% of DB plan and DC plan assets were managed internally.
  • 86% of DB plan assets were actively managed, while 40% of DC plan assets had active management

Plans included in the survey provide benefits to some 15.2 million participants and represent more than $1.3 trillion in assets, approximately $807 billion in defined benefit (DB), or pension assets and $515 billion in defined contribution (DC) plan assets.