defined contribution (DC) plan. An employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan or a 403(b) plan, in which contributions are made to individual participant accounts. Depending on the type of DC plan, contributions may be made by the employee, the employer, or both. The employee’s benefits at retirement or termination of employment are based on the employee and employer contributions and earnings and losses on those contributions. See also 401(k) plan.