Integrated Actuarial and Investment Solutions
River and Mercantile Solutions is a leading institutional investment and actuarial advisor and fiduciary manager. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the understanding and tools to successfully meet the investment goals of their institution. River and Mercantile Solutions is a division of River and Mercantile Group PLC, which is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker: RIV).
The Society of Actuaries (SOA) published new mortality base tables and a new mortality improvement scale in late October. These new releases are likely to result in relatively small changes to plan sponsor income statements and balance sheets, and will most likely start to impact minimum contribution requirements in 2021; in most cases, these small changes will be favorable to plan sponsors.
Despite the Fed lowering rates in October, long-term corporate bond yields stayed relatively flat for the month. At the same time because of a relative calm on the geopolitical front, equity returns posted a decent month led by international and emerging market stocks. When taken together, most plans that have some return seeking assets in their portfolio would have seen funded status increases over the month.
Many corporate defined benefit pension plans utilize interest rate derivatives and/or Treasury STRIPS to manage interest rate risk. They also typically have large allocations to active fixed income managers as part of their liability-matching bond portfolios. Conversely, many plans invest in passive equity strategies as they do not believe that alpha can be reliably obtained by long-only equity managers.