SYNOPSIS

We contribute to the literature examining defined benefit pension plan asset allocation in the post-SFAS 132(R) reporting environment. SFAS 132(R) requires firms to disclose the expected annual pension benefit payments, thus providing a direct way to measure pension plan payout horizon. Controlling for previously documented determinants of pension asset allocation, we find evidence that a payout horizon measure constructed from SFAS 132(R) disclosures is associated with the firm's pension investment decisions. Specifically, we document that firms with a greater proportion of pension obligations due in the short horizon allocate a smaller portion of their plan assets to equity investments. Additionally, we provide evidence that our proposed measure explains asset allocation over and above previously used proxies representing plan horizon, confirming the usefulness of the 132(R) mandated disclosures.

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