Pension plan accounting estimates and the freezing of defined benefit pension plans
This study provides evidence that, when "hard" freezing their defined benefit pension plans, employers select downward biased accounting assumptions to exaggerate the economic burden of their benefit plans. Downward biased expected rates of return and discount rates allow managers to increase reported pension expenses and, for discount rates, allow managers to increase reported pension liabilities. We find that prior to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, both rates are downward biased when firms freeze their plans, whereas after SOX the bias is lower. This finding is consistent with managers opportunistically biasing pension estimates to obtain labor concessions during periods of reduced regulatory scrutiny.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- (Xuefeng) Jiang, John & Petroni, Kathy R. & Yanyan Wang, Isabel, 2010. "CFOs and CEOs: Who have the most influence on earnings management?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 513-526, June.
- Thomas, Jacob K., 1989. "Why do firms terminate their overfunded pension plans?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 361-398, November.
- Tepper, Irwin, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Pension Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(1), pages 1-13, March.
- Mittelstaedt, H. Fred, 1989. "An empirical analysis of the factors underlying the decision to remove excess assets from overfunded pension plans," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 399-418, November.
- Daniel Bergstresser & Mihir Desai & Joshua Rauh, 2006. "Earnings Manipulation, Pension Assumptions, and Managerial Investment Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 157-195.
- Mitchell A. Petersen, 1992. "Pension Reversions and Worker-Stockholder Wealth Transfers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 1033-1056.
- Zhang, Ivy Xiying, 2007. "Economic consequences of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 74-115, September.
- Mitchell A. Petersen, 2005.
"Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches,"
NBER Working Papers
11280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
- DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda, 1991. "Union negotiations and corporate policy *1: A study of labor concessions in the domestic steel industry during the 1980s," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 3-43, November.
- Zvi Bodie & Jay O. Light & Randall Morck & Robert A. Taggart, Jr., 1984.
"Funding and Asset Allocation in Corporate Pension Plans: An Empirical Investigation,"
NBER Working Papers
1315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Bodie & Jay O. Light & Randall Morck, 1987. "Funding and Asset Allocation in Corporate Pension Plans: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 15-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Irwin Tepper, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Pension Policy," NBER Working Papers 0661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benjamin M. Friedman, 1983. "Pension Funding, Pension Asset Allocation, and Corporate Finance: Evidence from Individual Company Data," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System, pages 107-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Comprix, Joseph & Muller III, Karl A., 2006. "Asymmetric treatment of reported pension expense and income amounts in CEO cash compensation calculations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 385-416, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:51:y:2011:i:1-2:p:115-133. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.