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A Qualified Commitment to DB Plans: Risk Management amid a Steep Downturn

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Employee Benefits & Human Capital > Defined Benefit

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Abstract:
The economic downturn has hit defined benefit plans very hard. Companies must make pension contributions with precious cash at a time when cash is needed for operating activities that will yield a near-term economic return. In CFO Research's third annual study of the pension plan landscape, we surveyed more than 400 senior finance executives and conducted in-depth interviews in the United States, Canada, and the UK in order to better understand the effects of the economic downturn on companies? DB plans, as well as executives? plans for pension plan management over the next two years. Despite this crisis in pension funding, executives in this study say they will seek long-term viability for their plans, rather than seek alternatives to their DB plans. They will do so by further reducing risk in their DB plans. Our in-depth analysis of companies? DB plan strategies and tactics provides insight into how companies should consider using financial instruments to manage pension risk.

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