[Excerpt] The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) was established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to ensure that participants in defined benefit plans receive their pensions even if their plans terminate without sufficient assets to pay promised benefits. Separate insurance programs protect participants in single-employer and multiemployer plans.
PBGC has published the Pension Insurance Data Book annually since 1996 to present detailed statistics on PBGC operations and benefit protection. For the first time, the Data Book 1998 includes data on the PBGC multiemployer pension insurance program as well as updates of the single-employer data presented previously.
In addition to tabular presentations of current and historical data, this edition features two articles on critical topics for the future of PBGC. The first article focuses on trends in retirement plan choice in the private sector, particularly the shift away from defined benefit plans, which are insured by PBGC, and the reasons behind this change. The second article describes the Pension Insurance Modeling System (PIMS), an advanced simulation model designed to improve the accuracy of PBGC’s estimation of its risk and exposure.
We have included in Appendix S all the tables from last year’s edition relating to PBGC’s single-employer program, but rearranged them into subject categories to make it easier for the reader. Because this represents a change in the ordering of tables from previous years, we have provided an index relating each table to its respective table number in prior editions at the back of the book. We have also, for the first time, included tables of multiemployer data in Appendix M.