IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Pension fund governance and the choice between defined benefit and defined contribution plans

  • Tim Besley


    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and London School of Economics)

  • Andrea Prat

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Recent events in several countries have underscored the importance of good governance in private occupational pension plans. The present Paper uses contract theory to analyse the interplay of residual claims and control rights in private pensions. The residual claimant is the plan sponsor in a defined benefit (DB) plan and the pool of beneficiaries in a defined contribution (DC) plan. The main control rights we examine relate to decisions on funding, asset allocation, and asset management. Under complete contracting, governance can be shown to be neutral: DC and DB plans differ only on risk allocation. If instead contracts are incomplete, a DB (DC) plan should: (1) Assign more vigilance responsibility to the sponsor (beneficiaries); (2) Rely less (more) on trustees; (3) Tend to employ trustees that are professional experts (caring insiders); (4) Assign asset allocation rights to the sponsor (beneficiaries); (5) have strict funding requirements.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W03/09.

in new window

Length: 31 pp
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:03/09
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE

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.:

as in new window
  1. Lakonishok, Joseph & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "The Structure and Performance of the Money Management Industry," Scholarly Articles 10498059, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Andrew A. Samwick & Jonathan Skinner, 1998. "How Will Defined Contribution Pension Plans Affect Retirement Income?," NBER Working Papers 6645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrea Prat, 2002. "The wrong kind of transparency," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3679, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Petersen, Mitchell A, 1992. "Pension Reversions and Worker-Stockholder Wealth Transfers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 1033-56, August.
  5. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Diane Del Guercio & Paula A. Tkac, 2000. "The determinants of the flow of funds of managed portfolios: mutual funds versus pension funds," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2000-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Venkiteswaran N, . "Ethics, Values and Corporate Governance," IIMA Working Papers WP1997-08-01_01459, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
  8. Blake, David, 1998. "Pension schemes as options on pension fund assets: implications for pension fund management," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 263-286, December.
  9. Venkiteswaran N, . "Corporate Governance for Shareholder Value," IIMA Working Papers WP2000-07-01, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
  10. Tiroley, Jean, 2000. "Corporate Governance," CEI Working Paper Series 2000-1, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:03/09. 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: (Benita Rajania)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.