News

Retirement Update – April 2018

Retirement Update – April 2018

The small drop in discount rates during the month will increase liabilities for most plans, while the generally negative equity returns will ensure that investments don’t make up for this liability increase.  Neither the discount rate movement nor the asset performance was catastrophic, but the majority of plans will likely see a drop in their funded percentage.

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Retirement Update – March 2018

Retirement Update – March 2018

Plan sponsors should see little change in funded status as of the end of February. Negative equity returns offset decreasing liabilities. Discount rates rose by over 0.2% in February to their highest level since April 2017. At the same time, the 3.7% decline in the Russell 1000 index of US stocks represented to worst monthly performance for equities since January 2016, when stocks fell by 5.4%.

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Target Date Funds: Three Things to Consider

Target Date Funds: Three Things to Consider

This article addresses three major features common to most TDFs’ structure: asset allocation (specifically, equity exposure), management style (including active and passive management, use of proprietary funds, and tactical asset allocation), and fees – which, if not evaluated carefully and on a manager-by-manager basis, could result in a mismatch between an employer’s goals and participant investment results.

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2017 Pension Plan Report Card – An Above Average Year

2017 Pension Plan Report Card – An Above Average Year

Strong markets coupled with favorable changes in corporate tax rates made 2017 a very good year for pension plan sponsors. The continuing run up in the equity markets meant that most plan sponsors saw funded status improvements in 2017 in spite of discount rate declines.

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A Return to Normal Volatility?

A Return to Normal Volatility?

The equity markets have been extremely volatile over the past two weeks. Are these market movements perhaps the start of something big, or just the first step to volatility returning to a more typical level?

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Retirement Update – February 2018

Retirement Update – February 2018

Between an uptick in discount rates and strong equity performance, plan sponsors should see a nice bump in funded status as of the end of January. Discount rates recovered from the dip they took at the end of December. Equities had a solid month with US and international equities up around 5% and emerging markets over 8%.

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Retirement Update – January 2018

Retirement Update – January 2018

Pension plan funded status likely took a small hit in December. The Citi Pension discount rate dropped 18 basis points during December implying a 2-3% increase in liabilities. This was offset by favorable returns albeit generally below 2%. Plan funded status for calendar 2017 months should be at least modestly improved for most plans; how much will depend on asset allocation.

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2017 Fiscal Year-End Accounting Considerations

2017 Fiscal Year-End Accounting Considerations

Many pension plan sponsors are in the process of figuring out what assumptions they will be using to value liabilities for their 2017 fiscal year-end disclosures. This article looks at what has changed this year and what that means for pension plan liabilities.

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Retirement Update – December 2017

Retirement Update – December 2017

Most plans will continue to see funded status increases as equities continue to rally while discount rates remain steady. Even with discount rates down YTD, plans will most likely be better funded come year-end barring any drastic changes in rates or returns during December.

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