70 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015 Last revised: 24 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 23, 2017
Does freezing a corporate defined benefit (DB) pension plan decrease overall labor costs and increase firm profits? Firms are more likely to freeze defined benefit pension plans that have higher prospective accruals and thus higher potential cost saving. After incorporating the increases in current contributions to defined contribution plans, freezing saves firms 3 percent of total payroll in the first year and the equivalent of 13.5 percent of the long-horizon payroll of current employees. Savings arise in part because firms are reneging on implicit contracts to provide workers higher compensation through pension accruals later in their careers.
Keywords: Pensions; Pension freezes; Pension cost; Retirement; Labor compensation, Firm value.
JEL Classification: G14, G23, G32, J31, J32, J33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Rauh, Joshua D. and Stefanescu, Irina and Zeldes, Stephen P., Cost Saving and the Freezing of Corporate Pension Plans (February 23, 2017). Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 16-4; Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 16-4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2706448 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2706448