While cash balance litigation continues to wind its way through the courts, the long-term implications of these types of retirement plans have been generally ignored. That is until now. Richard W. Johnson and Cori E. Uccello have just authored a study, "Cash Balance Plans: What Do They Mean for Retirement Security?", published by the Urban Institute,  a nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization. Here is the abstract of the report:

The conversion of traditional defined benefit plans to cash balance plans is among the most controversial aspects of pension policy today. Because the controversy has focused on the treatment of older workers, however, the debate has generally ignored the long–term implications for retirement security. This article examines the potential impact of cash balance plans on workerswho spend their entire careers in these plans, and focuses on the implications for mobile workers and for labor supply at older ages. The evidence suggests that cash balance plans can often provide more retirement security than traditional defined benefit plans or defined contribution plans.

Here is a link to the entire study (PDF).