Our most recent Sounding found that the majority of retirement benefit programs at nonprofits are under stress at the present time. Nonprofits offering “defined benefit plans” (plans with a guaranteed benefit) have been particularly hard hit, with 76 percent reporting that their plans are currently under stress and 43 percent reporting severe or very severe stress. Even those offering “defined contribution plans” (plans with investments controlled by the employee and no guaranteed benefit) have been affected, however, with 58 percent reporting that their plans are under stress. As a result, organizations have been forced to reduce retirement benefits, scale back employer matches, end future benefit accruals, and deny pension coverage to new employees, or as a last resort, divert resources from program operations. Many smaller organizations have been prevented from offering pension benefits at all.
How do these results compare to your organization’s retirement benefits situation? For organizations that have avoided such stress, how have you done it? For organizations experiencing similar stress, what strategies are you employing to help cope?