Pension Deficits and the Design of Private Debt Contracts
59 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 22, 2018
We find a positive relation between the amount of pension deficits and the cost of bank loans. The effect of pension deficits on the costs of bank loans is driven by financial constraints, information asymmetry problems, and higher pension investment risk. Banks tighten lending terms for firms with larger pension deficits by requiring collateral, increasing the number of loan covenants and shortening loan maturity. Borrowers with larger pension deficits are also more likely to violate covenants in the future. Collectively, these findings indicate that pension deficits represent an additional source of risk priced by banks.
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