Suddenly, Some Pension Funds Appear A Mite Short

It wasn't too long ago that the nation's private pension system was the picture of financial health. Although some troubled companies had sizable unfunded pension liabilities, the huge stock market runup in the 1980s left most defined-benefit plans with money to spare. Indeed, according to Buck Consultants Inc., in 1987 the pension fund assets of major corporations equaled 170% of their accumulated pension obligations, and 93% of such plans were fully funded.

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