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March 2017 Pension Finance Update

April 03, 2017

The short version is: good month, good quarter. Pension sponsors made it three for three so far in 2017 with another modestly positive month for pension finance. Stocks gained a bit last month, while interest rates also edged up, shaving pension liabilities. Both model pension plans we track gained ground again in March: Plan A improved 1% and is now up 3% this year, while Plan B added a fraction and is now up 1% through the first quarter of 2017. Read More

Litigation with respect to in-house funds

March 16, 2017

There have been a number of recent lawsuits brought against financial services companies alleging prohibited ERISA “self-dealing” with respect to the use of proprietary funds and services for plans they maintain for their own employees. In this article we review the issues presented by these cases for plan fiduciaries – both fiduciaries of financial services company in-house plans and “regular” plan fiduciaries. Read More

Lump sum de-risking in 2017

March 13, 2017

In this article we discuss how changes in interest rates, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums and mortality tables may affect sponsor decisions to de-risk (or not de-risk) defined benefit plan liabilities in 2017. For purposes of this article, by de-risking we mean paying out a participant’s benefit as a lump sum and thereby eliminating the related liability – the ‘low-hanging fruit’ for pension de-risking efforts. Read More

DOL publishes proposed delay in Conflict of Interest rule applicability date

March 09, 2017

On March 1, 2017, the Department of Labor released a proposal to delay the “applicability date” of its Conflict of Interest (aka “fiduciary”) regulation by 60 days, from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017. Interested persons have 15 days to comment on the proposed extension. In this article, we briefly discuss DOL’s proposed extension. We note that President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, has not yet been confirmed. Nor, critically, has a new head of DOL’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA). Read More

February 2017 Pension Finance Update

March 07, 2017

Pension sponsors enjoyed a second month of modest improvement in finances during February on the strength of strong stock markets. Both model pension plans we track gained ground again last month: Plan A improved 1% in February and is now up 2% this year, while Plan B added a fraction and is now up almost 1% total through the first two months of the year: Read More

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Latest News:

  • March 2017 Pension Finance Update - Read More
  • Litigation with respect to in-house funds - Read More
  • Lump sum de-risking in 2017 - Read More
  • DOL publishes proposed delay in Conflict of Interest rule applicability date - Read More
  • February 2017 Pension Finance Update - Read More
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