Not too long ago, sponsors of defined benefit plans regardedpremium payments to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. like a trip to the dentist — arequired nuisance.

“The tendency was to take a compliance mindset to PBGC premiumsand pension plan funding,” says Brian Donohue, a partner andactuary at Chicago-based pension consultancy October Three.

In other words, premium payments were seen as a necessary costof doing business for employers offering defined-benefit plans — dowhat you have to do to pay what has to be paid and get the problemoff sponsors' desks until the next round of premiums are owed.

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