Pension plan liabilities pose little risk to the financial health of most U.S.
companies, according to an analysis by Watson Wyatt, a HR consulting
Watson Wyatt's analysis found that pension plan liabilities at about half of
the Fortune 1000 companies with defined benefit plans pose little risk to the
financial stability of the company's core business.
Companies with moderate or high pension risk may face financial challenges
from their pension plan during poor market conditions. About 30 percent of companies
face a moderate amount of risk, while the remaining 20 percent are exposed to
relatively high risk levels.
"Despite pockets of trouble in the pension system, employers for the most
part face only a small or moderate amount of risk," said Julia Coronado,
senior research analyst at Watson Wyatt. "In fact, since there are relatively
few companies with high pension risk, the broader risk to the U.S. economy seems
to be minimal."