I worked in benefits at the time. The defined benefit plans were in most cases overfunded back then. The stock market was going gung ho. Many many companies discontinued their plans and put the overfunding back into the company; at least that is what ours did. And, no, the excess money did not go into the pockets of the top executives. Our company was a smaller company. Execs got bonuses but nothing that I considered out of line. Annuities from the pension plan were all based on what you individually had in the pension plan at the time. You had your option: an annuity purchased with the company contributions and a cash return of the money you contributed or an annuity purchased with the company and your contributions.