Pension Benefit Obligation - PBO

Definition of 'Pension Benefit Obligation - PBO'


An accounting term used to describe the amount of money a company must pay into a defined-benefit pension plan to satisfy all pension entitlements that have been earned by employees up to that date. The pension benefit obligation (PBO) is calculated by an actuary, who determines the benefits needed through a present value calculation.

Investopedia explains 'Pension Benefit Obligation - PBO'


A pension benefit obligation is a calculation of the total amount due to employees in the pension fund for all of the past service completed up to that date. Some of the assumptions an actuary will use to calculate the PBO include, but are not limited to, the estimated remaining service life of employees, salary raises and the mortality rates of employees.

Although a PBO is classified as a liability on the balance sheet, there is considerable criticism about whether it meets the predefined criteria of a liability, which are:

a) There is a responsibility to surrender an asset from the result of the transaction(s) taking place at a specified future date.
b) The company must surrender assets for the liability at some future point in time.
c) The transaction resulting in the liability has already taken place.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Walras' Law

    An economics law that suggests that the existence of excess supply in one market must be matched by excess demand in another market so that it balances out. So when examining a specific market, if all other markets are in equilibrium, Walras' Law asserts that the examined market is also in equilibrium.
  2. Market Segmentation

    A marketing term referring to the aggregating of prospective buyers into groups (segments) that have common needs and will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation enables companies to target different categories of consumers who perceive the full value of certain products and services differently from one another.
  3. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  4. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  5. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  6. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
Trading Center