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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Investor Alley => Topic started by: Joel on January 08, 2017, 06:29:49 PM

Title: What happened to Arthur Andersen's pension plan when it went under?
Post by: Joel on January 08, 2017, 06:29:49 PM
As a former public accounting employee with a small pension that is guaranteed a 5% return, I've always considered my cash balance pension as part of my bond allocation. However, public accounting being what it is, one real bad scandal could take the firm under. I don't think it's likely to happen, but it made me wonder what happen to Arthur Andersen's pension plan when it went under. Does anyone know? I couldn't find anything with a quick google search.
Title: Re: What happened to Arthur Andersen's pension plan when it went under?
Post by: marty998 on January 09, 2017, 12:02:38 AM
A quick google search turned this article up. IANAL and I won't profess to try and explain it, but it looks like a really messy situation that you don't want to be in.

https://www.law360.com/articles/52621/court-lets-arthur-andersen-s-insurer-off-the-hook

Perhaps our resident expert Cathy can provide her thoughts?
Title: Re: What happened to Arthur Andersen's pension plan when it went under?
Post by: SeattleCPA on January 09, 2017, 07:21:22 AM
I don't have any special knowledge of this situation... but because I started my career in public accounting at Arthur Andersen, I always followed the story of their meltdown.

Here's one thing I  understand based on comments from former AA personnel: The partners historically had accumulated a large partnership capital account balance that, as part of their retirements, got annuitized when they retired. A senior partner, e.g., might have $6M in his or her capital account.

It was "seemingly" risky to have so much wealth tied up in one asset, but hey, it was Arthur Andersen, widely-regarded as the best of the Big 8. What could go wrong?

P.S. The actual pension plan for rank and file employees should have fared much better.