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CFOs Want Safer Plan Options

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Many corporate finance executives want defined contribution retirement plans to be more like defined benefit plans, according to Prudential Financial Inc.

Prudential, Newark, N.J., has published that finding in a summary of results from a survey of 140 financial executives at companies that sponsor defined benefit plans and other retirement plans.

About two-thirds of the executives would like to see defined contribution plans include features such as guaranteed income during retirement, Prudential reports.

Although 54% said they are more concerned about whether participants will have enough retirement savings, 20% said their companies already have suspended the employer match for employee contributions to DC plans, and 46% said their companies are likely to eliminate or suspend the match in the next 2 years.

Meanwhile, 45% said the performance of defined benefit pension plans has hurt their companies’ finances in the past year, and 57% said reducing the volatility of the plans is a high priority. About half said their companies are likely to freeze or terminate defined benefit retirement plans in the next 2 years.

About 54% plan to move to pay-as-you-go retiree health coverage, up from 47% today.