The report adds that defined-benefit plans, because they're professionally managed, achieve superior investment performance when stacked up against individual investors in 401(k) plans who are left on their own to decide how much to save, how to invest their funds and how to modify investments over time.
For the companies maintaining traditional plans, keeping them properly and legally funded is a challenge.
According to global consulting firm Mercer, the funded status of pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies was 79% at the end of May, compared with 84% two months earlier. That equals an increase in aggregate pension deficits of $84 billion -- from $252 billion at the end of March to $336 billion at the end of May.
Any drop in funded status means that companies, to comply with federal standards, are on the hook for making up the difference and ensuring that retirees don't miss a payment.
More on the Dow
Top 10 Dow Dividend Stocks
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV