This is the seventh edition of the Private Pension Plan Bulletin. The tabulations presented in this report contain final numbers based on 1994 Form 5500 filings. Reports for 1994 plan years were filed by plans for fiscal years ending anywhere from December 31, 1994 to December 30, 1995. The processing period for 1994 filings ran from August 1995 through July 1997.

    Form 5500 reports are filed annually with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Plans covering 100 or more participants must file a Form 5500 every year containing extensive financial, participant, and actuarial data. Plans covering fewer than 100 participants are required to file a less detailed report (known as a Form 5500 C/R).

    The universe for this Bulletin consists of all private pension plans for which a Form 5500 or Form 5500 C/R has been filed with the IRS in accordance with Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Such plans may be defined benefit or defined contribution plans. They generally cover private wage and salary employees and are sponsored either by employers or jointly by employers and unions.

    The IRS processes the reports and provides computerized edited files to the Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration. To produce this Bulletin, the file of plans covering 100 or more participants is combined with a 5 percent sample of small plan filers. This combined file is subjected to additional editing and weighted to represent the universe of private pension plans covering two or more participants.

    The major change from the last Bulletin is the addition of two new tables and two new charts to Section E presenting estimates of aggregate rates of return earned by private pension plans over the 1985-94 period. The organization of this Bulletin is otherwise similar to previous ones. Key findings from the 1994 filings are summarized in the Highlights on pages 2 through 4. The tabulations are organized into five sections. Section A contains summary data on plans, participants, assets, income and expenses. Section B contains more detailed data on plans and participants, showing distributions by different size measures. Section C contains balance sheets and income statements for the major types of private pension plans. Section D contains detailed data on defined contribution plans. Section E contains historical data from 1975 to 1994.

    This publication was prepared by Richard Hinz, Helen Lawrence, David McCarthy, Deloris Penic-Stevens and Daniel Beller of the Office of Policy and Research. The editors wish to acknowledge Steve Donahue and Phyllis Fernandez for valuable technical support. Although this Bulletin is not copyrighted, proper acknowledgment would be appreciated. The recommended citation is:

    United States Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration. Abstract of 1994 Form 5500 Annual Reports. Private Pension Plan Bulletin No. 7, Spring 1998. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1998.

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