Just under half of companies with defined-benefit pension planshave plans that are active and open to new hires, according to asurvey from investment manager SEI. Its poll of around 150companies of various sizes shows 47% report having active plans,while 24% say their plans are closed to new entrants and 28% haveplans that are frozen—closed to new entrants with participants notaccruing benefits.

These numbers closely mirror SEI's previous survey in January,which showed 46% of plans were active, 29% closed and 24% frozen.In both surveys, only 1%of companies were in the process ofterminating their plans.

The availability of defined-benefit pensions has declined inrecent years. In the early 2000s, about 60% of DB plans were stillactive. Jon Waite, director of institutional advice at SEI, saysthe erosion of defined- benefit pension plans may not be over, butplan sponsors may be rethinking their approach to the situation. Inthe past few years, pension sponsors have been spending more timeon overall pension strategy, rather than making changes to theirplans, he says.

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