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The DOL has published Private Pension Plan Bulletin - Abstract of 2005 Form 5500 Annual Reports, a report that provides a summary of the 2005 IRS Form 5500 Annual Reports:

"HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2005 FORM 5500 REPORTS

Over the past three decades, as the private pension system has shifted from defined benefit (DB) plans toward 401(k) type defined contribution (DC) plans, the financing of benefits has shifted from employers to participants. In 1978, when legislation was enacted authorizing 401(k) type plans that allow employees to contribute on a pre-tax basis, 29 percent of contributions to DC plans, and only 11 percent of total contributions to all DB and DC pension plans were contributed by participants. The percent of contributions made by the employee to DC plans has doubled since then, but has remained steady at 60 percent for the past seven years. Other findings from Form 5500 series reports for 2005 plan years are summarized below.

  • The total number of pension plans fell for the fifth year in a row, by 0.6 percent in 2005, to 679,000 plans. DB plans increased by 0.2 percent, while DC plans fell by 0.6 percent. The decline in DC plans was led by a 20 percent decrease in the number of money purchase plans, which follows a 30 percent decrease in 2004.
  • In 2005, the total active participant count increased to 82.7 million. However, most of the increase between 2004 and 2005 is due to a change in the definition of active and total participants used for the 2005 report (see page 2 for further explanations). The number of active participants in DB plans decreased to 20.3 million while the number of active participants in DC plans increased to 62.4 million.
  • 401(k) type plans continued to grow in 2005, with the number of plans increasing from 419,000 to 436,000. The number of active participants increased to 54.6 million (please note that the definition of active participants has changed, see page 2 for further explanations).
  • Pension plan assets increased for a third year in 2005. Total pension plan assets reached $5.1 trillion, exceeding the previous high of $4.7 trillion in 2004. DB plan assets grew by 7.0 percent to $2.3 trillion, and DC plan assets increased by 8.5 percent to $2.8 trillion. 401(k) plan assets grew 9.5 percent to a total of $2.4 trillion. Aggregate returns of defined contribution plans exceeded those of defined benefit plans for the first time in the last seven years.
  • DC plan contributions grew by 8.8 percent, to $248.8 billion. DB plan contributions decreased by 1.9 percent to $92.7 billion, a smaller decline than was observed in 2004. Overall, contributions to pension plans increased by 5.7 percent in 2005 to $341.5 billion.
  • In 2005, pension plans disbursed $354.5 billion for payment of benefits, with $136.6 billion being disbursed from DB plans and $218.0 billion from DC plans. These payments were made either directly to retirees, beneficiaries, and terminating employees, or to insurance carriers for payment of benefits. These amounts reflect a decrease from 2004 of 2.8 percent in defined benefit plans and an increase of 13 percent in defined contribution plans.
  • Overall, pensions disbursed $13.1 billion or 3.8 percent more than they received in contributions. DB plans disbursed $43.9 billion more than they collected in contributions, while DC plans disbursed $30.8 billion less than they received in contributions."

ESOP Statistics

An IRS Form 5500 was filed for 6,881 ESOPs, 3,756 nonleveraged and 3,125 leveraged. Here is a listing of the ESOP-specific tables provided in the report:

  • Number of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Total Participants, Active Participants, Assets, Contributions, and Benefits by type of plan, 2005
  • Number of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Total Participants, Active Participants, Assets, Contributions, and Benefits by type of ESOP, 2005
  • Number of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) by number of participants and primary or supplemental status,2005
  • Balance Sheet of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) with 100 or More Participants by leveraged status, 2005
  • Income Statement of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) with 100 or More Participants by leveraged status, 2005
  • Number of Defined Contribution Plans, Participants, Active Participants, Assets, Contributions, and Benefits by 401(k) and ESOP status, 2005

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