The Pension Protection Act of 2006: Death-knell for Defined Benefit Pension Plans?

February 3, 2007

Michael J. Collins

The private pension system in the United States has been in deep decline for many years. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“the PBGC”), the federal agency that insures benefi ts under private-sector defined benefit pension plans, had an $18.9 billion deficit at close of the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006. In response to this crisis, Congress enacted the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“the Act”). The primary goal of the Act is to preserve the private pension system by requiring employers to make larger contributions to their plans. However, the unintended effect may be to accelerate the longstanding trend away from defined benefit plans in favor of “401(k)” and other defined contribution plans....

The Pension Protection Act of 2006: Deathknell for Defined Benefit Pension Plans?