More than a third of companies that offer defined benefit plans are considering a change such as freezing it or converting to a cash balance plan, according to a new survey by Financial Executives International and the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents are considering a change to their defined benefit plans, while more than half "expressed serious concern" about the rising premiums they pay to the PBGC, according to a news release about the survey of 200 CFOs conducted last week.
Despite the gloom over their pension plans, CFOs were overwhelmingly sanguine about their companies' prospects, according to the survey. The survey's index of company optimism reached 78.12 out of 100, the highest level in nearly two years. The index of economic optimism rose for the second straight quarter and reached 71.06.
"The survey shows CFOs are very bullish about their companies and the economy," Burton Rothberg, assistant professor of accounting at Baruch College, said in the release.