On the determinants of defined benefit pension plan conversions

Kandice A. Kapinos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study utilizes pension plan level 5500 data from the Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service to investigate the determinants of traditional defined benefit plan conversion to hybrid cash balance plans during the 1990s. Incorporating the possibility of plan termination instead of plan conversion, the author finds a negative effect of plan funding status, union status, the number of total defined benefit plans at the firm, and plan contributions on the likelihood of plan conversion. The number of active participants and total defined contribution plans at the firm positively affect the probability of conversion. Plans at firms with at least one union plan were less likely to terminate. Additionally, the number of defined benefit plans at the firm and plan contributions had a negative effect on the likelihood of plan termination. Industry fixed effects were significant in all specifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-167
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Labor Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Cash balance pension plans
  • Defined benefit pension plans
  • Firm pension plan policy
  • Pension plan terminations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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