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ASC 715-30-20 defines a defined benefit plan.

Excerpt from ASC 715-30-20

Defined benefit plan: A defined benefit plan provides participants with a determinable benefit based on a formula provided for in the plan. …
b. Defined benefit pension plan—A pension plan that defines an amount of pension benefit to be provided, usually as a function of one or more factors such as age, years of service, or compensation. Any pension plan that is not a defined contribution pension plan is, for purposes of Subtopic 715-30-00_128453.dita#SL2899105-128453, a defined benefit pension plan.

As the definition says that a defined benefit pension plan is any pension plan that is not a defined contribution plan, the first step in evaluating the type of plan is to determine if it is a defined contribution plan (see PEB 1.4). If a plan does not meet the criteria of a defined contribution plan, it is a defined benefit plan by default. An example of a defined benefit plan is one in which participants may receive monthly benefits of $100 for each year of service or annual benefit payments of 1% of the final year's pay for each year of service. Additionally, most “cash balance” plans (see PEB 1.6.2) are also defined benefit plans. PEB 2, PEB 3, and PEB 4 contain further detail on the accounting for defined benefit plans.
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