Workers may shoulder more risk as firms struggle to meet funding requirements

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Published in Market Watch December 16, 2008 by Christopher Hinton

Pension portfolios at some of the nation’s top corporations have seen a sharp drop in value this year as the recession hammers away at the stock market, leaving many pension plans without enough funds to cover their promised benefits.

That leaves companies in a sticky situation. Though U.S. law says defined-pension plans don’t have to be fully funded until 2013, Standard & Poor’s 500 companies are still looking at a combined 20% shortfall for their programs this year at a time many need to preserve cash to weather the current economic malaise.

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