US study: Many workers in failed pension plans could see benefits reduced; losses to increase

A new federal study says many workers in employer-funded pension plans that fail could see their benefits reduced under the current system of government support.

The study was released Wednesday by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp., the federal agency that insures pensions for about 41 million Americans. It found that about half of employers in so-called multi-employer pension plans that fail in the near future will receive reduced payouts.

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That's up from 20 percent of people in multi-employer pension plans that already have run out of money, the study says. And the reductions likely will become steeper, increasing from the "typical" loss of around 10 percent.

Multi-employer plans are pension agreements between labor unions and a group of companies, usually in the same industry. They cover about 10 million workers.