NU Online News Service, Dec. 3, 2003, 4:43 p.m. EST – Defined benefit pension costs increased sharply for big, private U.S. employers between September 2002 and September 2003, according to new survey results from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.[@@]

Employers with 500 or more workers spent an average of 62 cents on defined benefit pension plans per hour of labor in September, up 32% from an average of 47 cents per hour of labor in September 2002.

The share of big employers’ hourly labor costs going into defined benefit pension plans increased to 1.9%, from 1.6%, while the share going into defined contribution plans held steady at 2.4%.

At employers with fewer than 100 workers, the share of hourly labor costs going into defined benefit pension plans fell to 0.6%, from 0.7%. The share going into defined contribution plans held steady at 1.5%.

The BLS posts links to employer cost survey summaries at http://www.bls.gov/schedule/archives/ecec_nr.htm