Congress to Open Debate on Pension Obligations

Pen­sion Ben­e­fit Guar­an­ty Corp insures pen­sion funds for 1.3M work­ers in Michi­gan alone but that agency is run­ning at a deficit; agency has tak­en over 241 failed plans in Michi­gan
Defined ben­e­fit plans promise pay­ment for retires until they die and have decreased from high of 170,000 in 1985 to 56,000 in 1998
Defined con­tri­bu­tion plans are like 401(k) plans and have increased from 462,000 to 661,000 in same time peri­od
Before Beth­le­hem Steel under, com­pa­ny said pen­sion plan was 84% fund­ed (cur­rent lia­bil­i­ty); but it actu­al­ly had only 45% of funds nec­es­sary to pay what it owed (ter­mi­na­tion lia­bil­i­ty) and shift­ed $3.7B of unfund­ed lia­bil­i­ties to PBGC