NU Online News Service, Oct. 29, 2003, 3:52 p.m. EST – More than 20% of sponsors of defined benefit pension plans either have frozen plan benefits or are “actively considering” a plan freeze, according to the consulting arm of Aon Corp., Chicago.

When Aon consultants reviewed 1,000 client plans, they found that 13% of the sponsors have frozen benefits since Jan. 1, 2001. Two percent hope to freeze benefits by Dec. 31, and 6% are seriously considering the possibility of freezing benefits.

Forty-five percent of the plan sponsors who want to freeze benefits or already have done so blamed the amount of contributions required. Another 39% complained about the volatility of contribution levels, and 35% talked about the effects of pension plans on corporate expense levels.