Right risking an investment portfolio

Generally, reduced exposure to equities, in favour of bonds, will reduce the expected long-term return of an investment portfolio. However, the variation of short-term returns will also be reduced. This is a means of risk control, but an overall reduction in investment return, will result in higher cash contributions from the employer sponsor of a defined benefit (DB) pension plan. Is the trade-off worthwhile? How is the trade-off quantified?
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