Are 401(k) Plans Replacing Other Employer-Provided Pensions? Evidence from Panel Data
This paper examines whether sponsors of traditional defined benefit (DB) plans are replacing them with 401(k) or other defined contribution (DC) plans. I compare pension plan offerings by sponsors of a DB plan in 1985 with their offerings in 1992 using Form 5500 filings. I find that 401(k) and other DC plans are substituting for terminated DB plans and that offering a DC plan of any type increases the probability of a DB termination. Thus, it appears that, at the sponsor level, many of the new 401(k) plans are not avenues for net saving but are replacements for the more traditional pension forms.
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