by Bill Duvall
At the best of times, employer-sponsored pension plans bring with them thorny administrative and legal problems.
These issues multiply in an economic environment in which many such pension plans face funding problems while employers seek to reduce their costs. Many employers have attempted pension plan amendments to reduce funding pressures. One such example is the creation of a defined contribution (DC) component out of an existing defined benefit (DB) plan. Similarly, employers have sought to reduce their pension plan administrative expenses wherever possible. Such employer actions are almost universally met by suspicion from plan members and are followed on occasion by litigation.