Former method of funding a pension plan. When employees retire, the employer sets aside a lump sum that will pay them lifetime monthly benefits. When determining the amount, these factors are considered life expectancy, the promised monthly benefit, and expected earnings on the sum set aside. The lump sum can either be placed in a trust fund or used to buy an annuity. Terminal funding, along with the current disbursement method, are no longer permitted for qualified pension plans under the employee retirement income security act of 1974 (erisa). ERISA requires current funding of future pension liabilities.