The Stampede Toward Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Fact or Fiction?
Alan L. Gustman
Thomas L. Steinmeier
This paper questions recent conclusions that the trend towards defined
contribution plans and away from defined benefit plans is due to increased
pension regulation and/or a changing economic environment. Using data from
IRS 5500 filings by pension administrators, we find that at least half of
the trend is due to a shifting employment mix toward firms with industry,
size, and union status characteristics which have historically been
associated with lower defined benefit plan rates. Not more than half of
the trend can be attributed to a "stampede" by firms with given industry,
size, and union status characteristics toward defined contribution pension
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