Are potential effects of SFAS 158 associated with firms' decisions to freeze their defined benefit pension plans?
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the significant clustering of defined benefit (DB) pension plan freeze announcements during 2001-2006 is motivated at least in part by accounting concerns due to the Financial Accounting Standards Board's pending adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 158 (SFAS 158). Design/methodology/approach – Using logistic regression models, the paper compares 147 “freeze firms” with a matched sample of firms that did not announce a DB plan freeze. Empirical models control for other DB plan motives including as a response to stricter contribution requirements under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and improving the firm's competitive position. Findings – The potential SFAS 158 impact is significantly associated with firms' decisions to freeze their DB plans. Firm profitability is also significantly associated with the freeze decision. However, there is no significant association between cash flow positions or pension plan contributions and the freeze decision. Research limitations/implications – It is possible that economic conditions adversely affecting the funded status of DB plans also motivate the freeze decision. While this study controls for the economic environment, economic factors could exacerbate the potential effect of SFAS 158. Originality/value – This paper considers potential effects of accounting policy by examining its influence on real management actions and has consequences for a variety of stakeholders including investors, creditors, and, importantly, pension beneficiaries and workers, as DB plans represent implicit contracts between firms and their employees.
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.
Volume (Year): 9 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 424 - 451
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=raf Email:
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.:
- Coronado, Julia Lynn & Copeland, Philip C., 2004. "Cash balance pension plan conversions and the new economy," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 297-314, November.
- Francesco Franzoni & José M. Marín, 2005.
"Pension plan funding and stock market efficiency,"
Economics Working Papers
871, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Kothari, S.P. & Leone, Andrew J. & Wasley, Charles E., 2005. "Performance matched discretionary accrual measures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 163-197, February.
- Arya, Anil & Glover, Jonathan & Mittendorf, Brian & Narayanamoorthy, Ganapathi, 2005. "Unintended consequences of regulating disclosures: The case of Regulation Fair Disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 243-252.
- Barth, Mary E. & Beaver, William H. & Landsman, Wayne R., 1992. "The market valuation implications of net periodic pension cost components," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 27-62, March.
- Hamdallah, Ahmed El-Sayed & Ruland, William, 1986. "The decision to terminate overfunded pension plans," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 77-91.
- 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.
- Alicia H. Munnell & Mauricio Soto, 2007. "Why Are Companies Freezing Their Pensions?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-22, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2007.
- 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.
- Cullinan, Charles P. & Knoblett, James A., 1994. "Unionization and accounting policy choices: An empirical examination," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 49-78.
- Greg Niehaus & Tong Yu, 2005. "Cash-Balance Plan Conversions: Evidence on Excise Taxes and Implicit Contracts," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(2), pages 321-352.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:rafpps:v:9:y:2010:i:4:p:424-451. 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: (Louise Lister)
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.