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Halting Defined-benefit Plans

A chart showing how many companies are freezing or terminating their pensions.

August 9, 2005

Recent Watson Wyatt Worldwide research shows that the percentage of Fortune 1,000 firms freezing or terminating their defined-benefit plans has increased rapidly. In 2004, 11 percent, or 71 companies, froze or terminated their plans, up from 7 percent, or 45 companies in 2003. Nearly two-thirds of Fortune 1,000 companies sponsor a define-benefit plan.

  Defined-benefit sponsors Sponsorship rate Frozen or terminated plans Rate of freezing or termination Hybrid-plan sponsorship

2004 627 63% 71 11% 16%

2003 633 63% 45 7% 18%

2002 624 62% 39 6% 16%

2001 638 64% 34 5% 16%
Source: Watson Wyatt Worldwide