Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

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Recent financial market and plan termination experiences have exposed the shortcomings of existing funding, disclosure, and premium rules governing private single-employer defined benefit pension plans in the United States. These rules were designed to provide predictability for plan sponsors and administrators, by insulating pension plans from the realities of economic and financial market fluctuations. Unfortunately current practice often overlooks key financial principles that arguably should inform a responsible set of pension rules and the insurance system backing the plans. We outline the key characteristics of pension plans needed to beneficially guide rule-making and offer examples drawn from proposed funding and premium rules


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2006 publication: Restructuring Retirement Risks.

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the author(s) and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. Copyright 2005 © Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.


Views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the Treasury Department or the U.S. Government.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 30 August 2019