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Board Independence and Changes in Defined-Benefit Plan Funding

Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations

ISBN: 978-1-78441-380-4, eISBN: 978-1-78441-379-8

Publication date: 2 February 2015


The funding of defined-benefit plans has garnered the attention of academicians, practitioners, and policymakers. Drawing upon agency and organizational control theories, this study investigates the implications of board independence on changes in defined-benefit funding. Using a panel dataset of S&P 500 companies sponsoring defined-benefit plans, the author finds that corporate boards matter. Specifically, CEO duality and outside director representation are associated with year-to-year decreases in defined-benefit funding. Conversely, outside director ownership is related to year-to-year increases in defined-benefit funding. Furthermore, outside director ownership moderated the relationship between outside director representation and defined-benefit funding such that outside director representation is associated with year-to-year increases in defined-benefit plan funding when the percentage of outside director ownership is high.



Mullins, F. (2015), "Board Independence and Changes in Defined-Benefit Plan Funding", Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations (Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 119-141.



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