Pension Reversions and Worker-Stockholder Wealth Transfers, Quarterly Journal of Economics
This paper examines the relative importance of transfers from workers to shareholders in the firm's decision to terminate their overfunded defined benefit pension plans. In contrast to earlier studies, I find evidence that firms terminate their pension plans to relieve themselves of implicit promises to workers of future compensation. In addition, financing and tax considerations influence the reversion decision. The results suggest that the 1986 excise tax on asset reversions reduced termination for reversion by 36 percent in 1986.
Petersen, A. Mitchell. 1992. Pension Reversions and Worker-Stockholder Wealth Transfers. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 107(3): 1033-1056.