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River FOURcast: June 2020

River FOURcast: June 2020

We believe we are still in the Downturn phase, but vigilance is required using this framework in these unprecedented times. Current economic damage is likely to have a material, lasting impact, as unemployment climbs and corporate restructuring becomes commonplace. But the significant policy response is a positive force on markets and cannot be overlooked.

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Retirement Update – June 2020

Retirement Update – June 2020

The ongoing pandemic and associated economic crisis continued into May, with many of the trends we saw in April continuing for a second month. Those trends include a volatile, although rebounding, equity market and pension discount rates that ended the month where they began.

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Structured Equity can Increase Funded Status – A Successful Investment Strategy for the Past, Present, and Future

Structured Equity can Increase Funded Status – A Successful Investment Strategy for the Past, Present, and Future

Challenging investment markets in 2020 have undone years of improvement in the funding levels of corporate defined benefit pension plans. The funding level of a typical plan, as noted in a recent study by Mercer, fell from 88% at the end of 2019 to 80% at the end of April . However, pension plan sponsors do not need to accept that significant funding level declines are the inevitable consequence of tough markets. It is possible to do much better.

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River and Mercantile’s Michael Clark Honored with Geoffrey Heywood Award

River and Mercantile’s Michael Clark Honored with Geoffrey Heywood Award

River and Mercantile (R&M) announced that Michael Clark, Managing Director and Consulting Actuary, is the 2020 recipient of the Geoffrey Heywood award. Given by the International Association of Consulting Actuaries (IACA), a section of the International Actuarial Association which is the worldwide association of professional actuarial associations, the award recognizes a young consulting actuary for their significant contributions to the public and actuarial profession.

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Pension Plan Annuity Purchase Update – Q1 2020

Pension Plan Annuity Purchase Update – Q1 2020

Total pension buyout sales totaled $4.5 billion in the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of 6% compared to the first quarter of last year but still only the second time first quarter sales in a given year have eclipsed $4 billion.

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COVID-19 – Impact on a Pension Plan’s Liquidity (Webinar)

COVID-19 – Impact on a Pension Plan’s Liquidity (Webinar)

In this webinar we will discuss the financial implications COVID-19 could have on your pension plan funded status through an expected increase in future benefit payments (including DROP elections), potentially lower equity returns and lower yields. We will help you better understand the importance of liquidity management and offer suggestions to minimize the impact creating liquidity could have on your pension plan.

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Potential Funding Relief Coming for Pension Plan Sponsors

Potential Funding Relief Coming for Pension Plan Sponsors

On Friday, May 15th the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act” or the “HEROES Act” to provide a fourth round of economic relief in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation covers a wide range of issues including significant contribution relief for single employer pension plans.

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Investment Commentary and Outlook as of May 14th

Investment Commentary and Outlook as of May 14th

April was an excellent month for stocks as investors cheered all of the support that central banks and governments are providing. The total value of the support, both fiscal and monetary, is close to the total amount of income that is expected to be lost…

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River FOURcast: May 2020

River FOURcast: May 2020

We believe we are still in the Downturn phase of the market, but recognize vigilance is required when using this framework in these unprecedented times. The economic damage taking place has direct implications for future recovery. Eventual levels of unemployment, financial leverage, investment spending and consumer confidence will determine how quickly economies can recover.

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Retirement Update – May 2020

Retirement Update – May 2020

The novel coronavirus, government and central bank stimulus and a start to reopening economies in some areas drove the markets in April. Additionally, oil markets collapsed as an oversupply caused the price of oil futures to fall into negative territory for the first time in history. Equities looked past the oil market flare up and delivered strong positive returns, with US markets up 13%, recovering close to 60% of the decline.

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