Problems with pension plans : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
The purpose of the thesis is to research the problems facing pension plans in the United States and look at some possible solutions for the problems. The paper begins by illustrating the growth trend of pension plans from World War II to the near future. The reader gets a feel for the extreme growth experienced by pension plans and the difficulties inherited with this growth. Next the purpose of pension plans is defined and the plans are broken down into their separate divisions: defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans.The paper proceeds by informing the reader about the regulation of pension plans through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The reader will get an understanding that the problems of pension plans are focused in the PBGC and the corporations which sponsor the plans. The paper ends by illustrating that the people held responsible for the shortfalls in corporate pension plans will be a big part of the solution.