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Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution Plans

Decisions, Decisions: Retirement Plan Choices for Public Employees and Employers

Publication

A new study of the retirement plan choice in the public sector finds that defined benefit (DB) pensions are strongly preferred over 401(k)-type defined contribution (DC) individual accounts.

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A Better Bang for the Buck: The Economic Efficiencies of DB Plans

Publication

This report finds that a defined benefit (DB) pension plan can deliver the same level of retirement income to a group of employees at 46% lower cost than an individual defined contribution (DC) account.  The report finds that certain built-in features of DB plans enable the systems to be the most fiscally efficient way to provide retirement income. 

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Patience is a Virtue: Asset Allocation Patterns of DB & DC Plans

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This Issue Brief examines how both defined benefit and defined contribution plans invest their assets and how these investments have changed over time.

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Retirement Readiness: What Difference Does A Pension Make?

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This brief reviews the evidence on the role defined benefit pensions play in ensuring that older Americans have the resources they need to be self-sufficient in retirement.

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Investment Returns: Defined Benefit vs. 401(k) Plans

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This report compares and analyzes investment returns from defined benefit pension plans to those of 401(k) plans and IRAs from 1998 to 2004.

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The Value of Defined Benefit Plans

Publication

This brief discusses the differences between defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans, what they mean to long-term retirement goals, and ways to achieve parity between the two types of plans.

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Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Plans: A History, Market Overview and Comparative Analysis

Publication

A basic primer on the differences between defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans.

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