This thesis deals with the pension system in the United States of America. The reader should be able to understand the differences between special pension plans and how those are implemented. The reader will learn to distinguish the main features of the American system from the Austrian system. The research was done at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque with the support of accounting teachers.Chapter 1 describes the development of pension systems in the USA. Furthermore, it gives an overview of accounting standards and regulation boards in the US and also compares those to the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). In order to provide an idea of the future of pension plans and payments an analysis of the demographic development in the US is done.The next chapter presents the major pension plans, which are ?defined benefit? and ?defined contribution? plans: how participations are made, what kinds of benefits arise and who is eligible for those. In addition, some other plans, mostly combinations of the aforementioned ones, are shortly mentioned. Moreover the protection of defined benefit plans is described, as this is also the part of the case study later in the paper.Chapter 3 focuses on the practical part of the thesis, providing calculation examples on the abovementioned topics. It includes a case study about United Airlines and their defined benefit pension plans. In the end, a microeconomic point of view is introduced: the Principal-Agent-Theory in combination with pension plans.The last chapter deals with the influence of the different pension plans on a company?s financial statement. This chapter provides information on how the different pension payments and liabilities ? either defined benefit or defined contribution plans - have to be listed in the statements and which additional information has to be provided for any interested party. The paper ends with a conclusion and the Author?s personal statement.