Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

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The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) was established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to provide “insurance guarantees” for qualified pension plans insufficiently funded to provide accrued vested benefits. The PBGC’s annual reports on the liabilities for plans it has taken over and the agency’s assets show that the Single Employer Program has seen this “net position” vary from a surplus of almost $10 billion in 2000, to a deficit of over $29 billion in 2012. The PBGC uses a proprietary Pension Insurance Modeling System to model future scenarios for their obligations. This paper offers observations on future pension plan funding and how this could affect the PIMS model, based on the current environment, and how the agency might respond to change.

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Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. ©2013 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.


The research reported herein was pursuant to a grant from the US. Social Security Administration (SSA) funded as part of the Retirement Research Consortium (RRC); the author also acknowledges support from The Pension Research Council at The Wharton School. All findings and conclusions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the SSA or any agency of the federal government, the PRC, or The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, the opinions expressed by the author do not represent those of the Society of Actuaries or any other organization of which I am a member.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 26 June 2019