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Pension fund finance and sponsoring companies: empirical evidence on theoretical hypotheses

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Listed:
  • E. Philip Davis
  • Sybille Grob
  • Leo de Haan

Abstract

This study presents empirical evidence on the influence of sponsoring companies on the funding and portfolio allocation of pension funds, an issue on which most extant literature is theoretical. We use a unique microdataset of 550 Dutch defined benefit company pension funds and 100 sponsoring firms over 1996-2005 to test the relevance of the main theoretical hypotheses, the first paper to do so in a comprehensive manner. We find that pension funds have lower cover ratios when (1) their sponsoring company is highly leveraged, (2) the fund's return on assets is relatively low, and (3) the sponsoring firm is small. Further, defined benefit pension funds are found to invest more in shares when their sponsoring companies are highly leveraged. These links in general suggest higher risk in the sponsor leads to correspondingly higher risk in the fund, and warrant close attention by regulators.ÂÂ

Suggested Citation

  • E. Philip Davis & Sybille Grob & Leo de Haan, 2007. "Pension fund finance and sponsoring companies: empirical evidence on theoretical hypotheses," DNB Working Papers 158, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:158
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. M.C.J. van Rooij & A.H. Siegmann & P.J.G. Vlaar, 2004. "Palmnet: A pension asset and liability model for the Netherlands," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 760, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. van Rooij, Maarten C.J. & Kool, Clemens J.M. & Prast, Henriette M., 2007. "Risk-return preferences in the pension domain: Are people able to choose?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 701-722.
    3. W. Allard Bruinshoofd & Clemens Kool, 2009. "Nonlinear target adjustment in corporate liquidity management: an endogenous thresholds approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(17), pages 2125-2131.
    4. P.J.A. van Els & W.A. van den End & M.C.J. van Rooij, 2003. "Pensions and public opinion: a survey among dutch households," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 752, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2008. "Risk Sharing and Efficiency Implications of Progressive Pension Arrangements," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, pages 419-443.
    6. Peter Vlaar, 2007. "Term Structure Modeling for Pension Funds:What to do in Practice?," DNB Working Papers 123, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. de Jong, Frank, 2008. "Pension fund investments and the valuation of liabilities under conditional indexation," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-13, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leo de Haan, 2015. "Recovery measures of underfunded pension funds: higher contributions, no indexation, or pension cuts?," DNB Working Papers 485, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pension funds; Sponsoring company; Capital structure;

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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