Kravitz Report Cites Surge in Cash Balance Plans

Based on an analysis of government filings, a new report claims that cash balance plan designs have enjoyed a 359% increase in six years.

Plan provider Kravitz said it has compiled research on all cash balance plans nationwide as of December 31, 2007, using data from the most recently available IRS Form 5500 filings.  While in 2001 there were only 1,337 cash balance plans nationwide, by 2007 there were 4,797, according to the report.

The Kravitz National Cash Balance Research Report” said that 80% of cash balance plans are in place at firms with less than 100 employees, and that most—nearly two-thirds (63%), in fact—have fewer than 36 participants.

The report noted that 79% of cash balance plans are combined with a profit-sharing or 401(k) plan, and that more than half of those plans use new comparability.

The report noted that, as of 2007, medical and dental groups together accounted for a third (34%) of all cash balance plans nationally.  The report said that employers in California and New York account for 26% of all cash balance plans, with Ohio, New Jersey and Illinois “close behind.”

Since the majority of cash balance plans were created within the past five years, about half have plan assets totaling less than $500,000, though Kravitz said that they “anticipate that this statistical profile will change significantly over the next decade, as plan assets grow exponentially through large annual contributions and guaranteed interest credits.”