Private Defined Benefit Pension Plans in the U.S. National Accounts: Accrual Measures for the 2013 Comprehensive Revision (PDF)

With the comprehensive revision of the U.S. National Income and Product Accounts published in July 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis introduced new accrual-based measures of income generated by defined benefit (DB) pension plans. In addition to the improved measurement, BEA introduced a new DB pension subsector and a new set of tables that provide a complete picture of transactions conducted in the DB pension subsector. Separate tables were introduced for each sector of employers that sponsor DB plans: business or private sector, state and local government sector, and federal government sector. This paper summarizes the methodology for each of the estimated series included in the table for DB plans sponsored by business or private sector employers (i.e., private plans). In addition, the paper provides general background information on DB pension plans and summarizes the DB pension subsector and the related table for private DB plans.

Dylan Rassier