​Multiemployer Retirement Plan Landscape: A Ten-Year Look (2005-2014)

For a fourth year, Horizon Actuarial Services, LLC, and the International Foundation have partnered on The Multiemployer Retirement Plan Landscape: A Ten-Year Look (2005-2014), an annual benchmarking report on multiemployer pension and retirement plans. The report covers both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans using data from Form 5500 Annual Reports filed with the Department of Labor, with 2014 being the most recent information currently available.

The report analyzes key trends in demographics, cash flows, and investments for defined benefit and defined contribution plans over the ten-year period from 2005 through 2014, and will help trustees, consultants and policy makers gain a better understanding of these plans and their environment.​

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Defined Benefit Plans by Industry*

Construction 57% Transportation 11% Manufacturing 10% Retail/Wholesale 8% Service 4% Entertainment 4% Hospitality 2% Communication 1% Health Care 1% 
*Additional industries, each less than 1% of the total, include Agriculture, Energy and Education.

Defined Benefit Plan Asset Values**

Defined Benefit Plan Asset Values 
**3% of plans are receiving assistance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

Defined Benefit Plan Participants


Defined Contribution Plans by Industry*

Construction 76% Transportation 7% Entertainment 4% Manufacturing 4% Retail/Wholesale 3% Service 2% Energy 1% Hospitality 1% 
*Additional industries, each less than 1% of the total, include Agriculture, Communication, Health Care and Education.

Defined Contribution Plan Asset Values

Defined Contribution Plan Asset Values 

Defined Contribution Plan Participants


Median Market Value Funded Percentages*

Bar graph ranging from 2005-2014. 84% in 2005 and 86% in 2014 
*A plan’s market value funded percentage is its fair market value of assets divided by its actuarial accrued liability. These percentages do not reflect actuarial smoothing of prior investment gains and losses—They fully recognize such gains and losses. Median is the midpoint—half of the data set’s results are higher than this midpoint, and half are below. This differs from average, which is the sum of the results divided by the number of results. Because the average is impacted by unusually high or low results, our data is displayed using the median.

Distribution of PPA Certification Statuses

Multiemployer Defined Benefit Pension Plans—All Industries


About the Survey

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and Horizon Actuarial Services, LLC, partnered to create The Multiemployer Retirement Plan Landscape: A Ten-Year Look (2005-2014) as a compilation of historical information for multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans and defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in all industries in the United States. This report was created during the fall of 2016 using publicly available information from Form 5500 filings. The report summarizes and analyzes key trends in plan demographics, cash flows, investments, costs, and DB plan funding over the ten-year period from 2005 through 2014. It draws heavily from methodology and analysis in the 2012 report by the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc. and Horizon Actuarial.