The Post Retirement Benefit of Pension Plans

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The Post Retirement Benefit of Pension Plans Marcus Womack Intermediate Accounting II (ACC 306) Professor Rick Kwan September 29, 2010 There are several different types of employment compensation. Salaries and wages that people earn while they are working provide immediate compensation for services provided and are a key factor in managing one’s day to day life. However, there are also various types of compensation that one can earn from employment after they have retired from a company. The purpose of these post-retirement benefits is to ensure livelihood for a person when they are no longer able to work. A pension is one such plan. A pension is an arrangement—paid in regular installments--to provide people with an income when…show more content…
The market risk that exists is associated with the changes in the value of investments with the plans. While both types of plans carry market risks, the risks associated with defined benefit plans lies on the shoulders of the employer while those associated with defined contribution plans are assumed by the employee. During periods of economic growth the cost of maintaining a pension fund decreases due to the rising values of investments. Employers are able to contribute less and still meet future pension obligations. However, when markets go down the employer has to contribute more money to the plan to ensure that they are able to pay retirees their promised funds. Retirees receive the same dollar amount of income regardless of market conditions. With defined contribution plans the risks and rewards are reversed. Since the retiree both assumes risks and reaps benefits, periods of economic growth cause the retiree’s wealth and income to increase and negative market changes cause the opposite to occur. Employers have agreed to a fixed amount and are unable to adjust their contributions downwards. In essence, with this type of pension plan the employer does not take on the risk of their obligation changing unexpectedly, the pension funds being inadequate to meet their obligation or any added periodic expense of carrying a pension plan. Once retirement occurs, the company’s
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