WASHINGTON (AP) - The deficit racked up by the federal agency that insures pensions for about 40 million Americans has increased 23 percent to $76.4 billion. The agency's program for so-called multi-employer pension plans continues to account for a large share of the deficit, $52.3 billion.

WASHINGTON (AP) The deficit racked up by the federal agency that insures pensions for about 40 million Americans has increased 23 percent to $76.4 billion. The agency's program for so-called multi-employer pension plans continues to account for a large share of the deficit, $52.3 billion.

Multi-employer plans are pension agreements between labor unions and a group of companies, usually in the same industry. They cover about 10 million workers.

The deficit reported Tuesday for the year ended Sept. 30 was the widest in the 41-year history of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. It has now run shortfalls for 13 straight years.

But the rate of increase slowed from last year when the deficit nearly doubled to $62 billion from $36 billion in the previous fiscal year.