Single- and multi-employer defined benefit pension plans differ
April 07, 1999
About one-fifth of all workers with traditional pension plans are covered by multi-employer, as opposed to single employer, plans. Multi-employer plans enable employees to gain credit towards a pension from work with several different employers. Portability and age-of-retirement provisions differ in these two types of plans.
Portability agreements with other plans apply to 60 percent of employees under multi-employer plans compared to 3 percent of those under single employer plans. These provisions allow participants to transfer years of credited service or accumulated benefits from one plan to another. Because multi-employer pension plans are typically found in industries characterized by workers who switch employers frequently (in some cases to employers not participating in the original multi-employer plan), a greater need exists for such portability of benefits.
Multi-employer plans are more likely than single-employer plans to provide normal (unreduced) retirement benefits for those retiring before age 65. In 1994-95, some 52 percent of employees in single-employer plans could not retire until age 65, compared with 33 percent of employees in multi-employer plans. Furthermore, some 39 percent of employees in multi-employer plans could retire at age 62, compared with only 23 percent of employees covered by single-employer plans.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Single- and multi-employer defined benefit pension plans differ on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/apr/wk1/art03.htm (visited October 25, 2014).
Three recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.
Women veterans in the labor force examines the demographic, employment, and unemployment characteristics of women veterans.
BLS Statistics by Occupation provides an overview of occupational employment and wages with an emphasis on STEM jobs and occupational data by typical entry-level education required.