Underfunded Pension Plan
Definition of 'Underfunded Pension Plan'
There are a number of reasons why a pension plan may become underfunded. One common reason is that the plan's assets are invested in risky assets that do not generate enough return to cover the cost of benefits. Another reason is that the plan's sponsors may not make enough contributions to the plan.
Underfunded pension plans can have a number of negative consequences. First, they can increase the risk that the plan will be unable to pay out benefits to retirees. Second, they can increase the cost of providing benefits to retirees, as the plan may need to invest in riskier assets or increase the amount of contributions from sponsors. Third, underfunded pension plans can damage the reputation of the plan's sponsors, making it more difficult for them to attract and retain employees.
There are a number of steps that can be taken to address an underfunded pension plan. One common step is to increase the plan's contributions from sponsors. Another step is to invest the plan's assets in less risky assets. Finally, the plan may need to reduce its benefits to retirees.
The decision of how to address an underfunded pension plan is a complex one, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best approach will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the plan.
In addition to the direct financial consequences, underfunded pension plans can also have a number of indirect consequences. For example, underfunded pension plans can increase the risk of bankruptcy for the plan's sponsors. This can lead to job losses and economic hardship for employees.
Underfunded pension plans can also damage the reputation of the plan's sponsors, making it more difficult for them to attract and retain employees. This can lead to a decline in the competitiveness of the plan's sponsors, which can ultimately harm the economy.
For all of these reasons, it is important for plan sponsors to take steps to ensure that their pension plans are adequately funded.
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