What portion of all private defined-benefit pension plan assets are insured against default by the federal government?
The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures 98% of all private defined-benefit pension plan assets. These are mostly union pension plans, many of which are significantly underfunded. Bailouts of these plans have been financed by insurance premiums paid by all of the pension plans, but the director of the PBGC testified in 2018 that these premiums "are only a small fraction of the amounts PBGC will need to support the guaranteed benefits of participants in plans expected to become insolvent during the next decade." In recent party line votes in the U.S. House and Senate, Democrats passed a "Covid relief" bill that will give about $83 billion in taxpayer bailouts to more than 100 union pension plans that were on the verge of collapsing before the Covid-19 pandemic.