New editions of the State Legislative Tracker and The Policy Tracker available now!

Defined Contribution Plan

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 11:10, 8 December 2013 by Geoff Pallay (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Voting on Local

Pension Hotspots Report
Local Ballot Measures
By state
By year
Hotspots Reports
Current edition
Original Case study
San Jose & San Diego
State-wide Measures

A defined contribution plan is a retirement benefits pension plan that serves as a deferred compensation retirement savings account such as a 401(k) or 403(b), in which retired employees have no guaranteed benefits. In such a plan employee and employer contributions are generally kept in an individual account controlled by the employee. Retirement benefits depend on contributions from the employee and the employer made to that individual account and on how well these contributions perform when invested. This type of pension plan is in contrast to a define benefit plan, in which retirement benefits are guaranteed to employees according to a certain formula. In a defined benefit plan, employers are responsible to make up the difference if investments fall short of the costs of the guaranteed retirement benefits. A defined contribution plan is much less risky for employers, because a defined contribution plan does not hold the employer responsible for providing guaranteed benefits.


In defined contribution plansboth employers and employees contribute to the employees account. Then, the employee determines how the contributions are invested, usually selecting from options presented by the plan administrator. At retirement, the amount of money in the fund is the basis of the employee's retirement benefit. The sponsoring public entity does not ensure a particular benefit amount, and usually does not provide post-retirement benefit cost of living increases..[1]

In 2009, Michigan, Nebraska, and Alaska had mandatory defined contribution plans for general state employees, and Alaska was the only state to have a mandatory defined contribution plans for teachers.[1]In 2012, Michigan added an optional defined contribution plan for public school employees.[2]

External links