Economic effects of the decline in defined benefit pension funding from surpluses to deficits
The recent decline in funding levels of defined benefit pension plans (DBPs) has attracted the attention of regulators in Australia and other jurisdictions. In light of such scrutiny, this study provides timely empirical evidence of the economic and regulatory implications of the recent change in the financial position of DBPs sponsored by Australian listed companies. We identify that over the four-year period from 2000 to 2003 the frequencies of both accrued benefits deficits and vested benefits deficits increased sharply after 2001. Coinciding with the increased incidence of deficits, the time lag in measuring accrued and vested benefits declined significantly. Controlling for firms taking contribution holidays, we find that the market prices vested benefits surpluses and deficits, and accrued benefits deficits, but not accrued benefits surpluses. This asymmetric treatment of firms’ superannuation funding positions is consistent with accounting conservatism theories and, as a consequence, has implications for recent adoption of IFRS accounting standards requiring Australian companies to recognise both accrued benefits surpluses and deficits.
Impact and interest:
Citation countsare sourced monthly fromand citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Value relevance, defined benefit pension plans, superannuation, pension obligations, pension funding, deficits, surpluses|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Financial Accounting (150103)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School|
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2006 Emerald|
|Copyright Statement:||Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.|
|Deposited On:||10 Jan 2007|
|Last Modified:||29 Feb 2012 23:21|
Repository Staff Only: item control page