Conceptualizing the Defined Benefit Pension Promise

Clark, Gordon L.; Monk, Ashby H. B.
March 2008
Benefits Quarterly;2008 First Quarter, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p7
Academic Journal
The long-term transition from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) occupational pensions has been the subject of academic and industry research. Even so, there remains considerable debate about the causes and consequences of this transformation. This article explores these contentious issues through a unique survey of over 1,260 U.S. experts in the field of pension financing and provision. The results suggest that apparent disagreements among experts over the current predicament and future of DB pensions in the private sector represent disagreement about the very nature of the pension promise. Those who hold to a strong version of the pension promise hold to, in fact, a quite specific relational model of modern capitalism.


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