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The Stampede Toward Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Fact or Fiction?

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  • Alan L. Gustman
  • Thomas L. Steinmeier

Abstract

This paper questions recent conclusions that the trend towards defined contribution plans and away from defined benefit plans is due to increased pension regulation and/or a changing economic environment. Using data from IRS 5500 filings by pension administrators, we find that at least half of the trend is due to a shifting employment mix toward firms with industry, size, and union status characteristics which have historically been associated with lower defined benefit plan rates. Not more than half of the trend can be attributed to a "stampede" by firms with given industry, size, and union status characteristics toward defined contribution pension coverage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3086.

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Date of creation: Aug 1989
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Publication status: published as Industrial Relations, Vol.31, No.2, Spring 1992, pp. 361-369
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3086

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Cited by:
  1. Edward N. Wolff, 2005. "Is the Equalizing Effect of Retirement Wealth Wearing Off?," Economics Working Paper Archive, Levy Economics Institute wp_420, Levy Economics Institute.
  2. Palacios, Robert & Whitehouse, Edward, 2006. "Civil-service pension schemes around the world," MPRA Paper 14796, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Edward N. Wolff, 2003. "The Devolution of the American Pension System: Who Gained and Who Lost?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 477-495, Fall.
  4. Alicia H. Munnell & Kelly Haverstick & Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, 2006. "Job Tenure and Pension Coverage," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Center for Retirement Research wp2006-18, Center for Retirement Research, revised Oct 2006.
  5. Leora Friedberg & Michael T. Owyang & Tara M. Sinclair, 2006. "Searching for better prospects: endogenizing falling job tenure and private pension coverage," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 2003-038, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1999. "Taxation and Saving," Working Papers, Stanford University, Department of Economics 99007, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  7. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1999. "Pension plans and retirement incentives," MPRA Paper 14755, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Leora Friedberg & Anthony Webb, 2003. "Retirement and the Evolution of Pension Structure," NBER Working Papers 9999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Douglas L. Kruse, 1991. "Pension Substitution in the 1980s: Why the Shift Toward Defined Contribution Pension Plans?," NBER Working Papers 3882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Leora Friedberg & Michael Owyang, 2004. "Explaining the Evolution of Pension Structure and Job Tenure," NBER Working Papers 10714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert L. Clark & Joseph F. Quinn, 1999. "Effects of Pensions on Labor Markets and Retirement," Boston College Working Papers in Economics, Boston College Department of Economics 431, Boston College Department of Economics.
  12. John V. Duca, 2004. "Why have U.S. households increasingly relied on mutual funds to own equity?," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas 0403, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  13. Marilyn Clark-Murphy & Paul Gerrans & Craig Speelman, 2009. "Return Chasing as a Driver in Individual Retirement Savings Investment Choices: Evidence from Australia," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 4-19, March.

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