A cash balance plan offers participants a defined benefit plan that functions more like a defined contribution plan with higher contribution limits and a similar portability. For sponsors, the plans are less expensive and avoid runaway costs as participants near retirement.
Cash balance plans find a DB/DC middle ground
Across all cash balance plans, 34% of all DB assets were held in cash balance plans in 2015, up from 29% in 2014 and up from 16% in 2010. While popular among small companies, large companies have also adopted cash balance plans; most have converted most of their defined benefit assets into cash balance plans. IBM and AT&T have $53 billion and $51 billion in cash balance assets, respectively.