The 10 Largest Terminated Pension Plans

Airlines and steel companies dominate the list

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Private-sector pensions are insured by the federal government. Benefits are paid out to workers by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) if the retirement plan or the company fails. But just 10 firms account for 62 percent of all claims on PBGC insurance between 1975 and 2007. Airlines and steel companies dominate the list. The top 10 firms:

Firm and year plan was terminated Total claims   Vested participants Average claim per participant
1. United Airlines (2005)  $7.5 billion   122,541   $61,234
2. Bethlehem Steel (2003) $3.7 billion    91,312 $40,021
3. US Airways (2003, 2005) $2.7 billion    57,002  $47,096
4. LTV Steel (2002, 2003, 2004)  $2.1 billion    83,094 $25,694
5. Delta Airlines (2006)  $1.7 billion   13,028 $133,596
6. National Steel (2003) $1.3 billion    33,737  $37,811
7. Pan America Air (1991,1992)   $0.8 billion   31,999 $26,285
8. Trans World Airlines (2001) $0.7 billion   32,275 $20,709
9. Weirton Steel (2004)   $0.6 billion    9,410   $68,064
10. Kaiser Aluminum (2004, 2007) $0.6 billion   18,402 $32,721
Source: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.