Winter 2014 Report of Results from the Survey of Calendar-Year Plans’ 2013 Zone Status

Update: In spring 2014, Segal added a set of graphs to this website to supplement the survey report abstracted here. The graphs, which show the 2013 zone-status breakdown of Segal’s multiemployer pension plan clients, including those with plan years beginning October 1 to December 1, is available here.


This Survey of Plans’ 2013 Zone Status reports the percentage of multiemployer pension plans that fall into each of the three “zones” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA’06): red (“critical” status), yellow (“endangered” status) and green (neither endangered nor critical) for 2013.
There are several key survey findings:

  • In 2013, a solid majority of plans — 59 percent — were in the green zone. This percentage represents a very slight decline from 2012 (60 percent).
  • The percentage of plans in the yellow zone was the same for 2013 as for 2012: 14 percent.
  • Between 2012 and 2013, the percentage of plans in the red zone increased by 1 percentage point, from 26 percent to 27 percent.
  • The average PPA’06 funded percentage for all surveyed plans was 84 percent in 2013, the same percentage as in 2012.

The survey report also analyzes industry trends in plans’ zone status and includes information about the scheduled “sunset” of the zone-certification rules of PPA’06 for plan years beginning after December 31, 2014, unless Congress acts to extend or eliminate the deadline.

The Survey of Plans’ 2013 Zone Status is based on actual certifications for more than 350 plans representing a wide range of industries that have plan years beginning January 1 to September 1. The certifications took into account any changes in plan design, employment, negotiated contribution rates and investment performance, through the end of each 2012 plan year.

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