Current Events

De-risking activity: Impact of interest rate and mortality assumption changes

November 04, 2015

In this article we are going to briefly discuss the effect of changes in mortality and interest rate assumptions on de-risking transactions. While de-risking covers a lot of things, we are only going to focus on its effect on de-risking transactions that involve paying out lump sums to terminated vested participants. Read More

Pension plan termination strategy – part 1

November 04, 2015

While interest rates remain near historic lows and, thus, measured pension liabilities remain high, some plan sponsors, particularly sponsors of frozen plans, have decided on (or are considering) plan termination. In this article we discuss the financial factors affecting a decision to terminate or not terminate a frozen plan, comparing the cost of buying annuities with the ‘book value’ of the plan plus ongoing overhead costs. Read More

Benefit provisions of proposed debt ceiling bill

November 03, 2015

On October 30 the Senate followed the House and approved a debt ceiling fix that includes increases in Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums, a modification of Tax Code rules for when plan-specific mortality assumptions may be used, and an extension of Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA) interest rate stabilization relief. In this article we discuss this changes. Read More

Update on Company Stock in Retirement Plans

October 21, 2015

Whitley v. BP (aka In Re: BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation), a stock drop case, is on appeal before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case provides a useful review of post-Fifth Third stock drop litigation theories and counter-theories. In this article we begin with a review of the Fifth Third stock drop standard and then consider the arguments being made by plaintiffs in post-Fifth Third stock drop cases and possible counterarguments. Read More

2016 Increases for Retirement Plans, Social Security

October 20, 2015

The Social Security Administration just announced benefit increases, or lack thereof, effective in 2016. For the second time in the past six years, current retirees will not receive a cost-of-living increase in 2016, due to a decline in the CPI-W between the third quarter of 2014 and the third quarter of 2015. These changes will affect benefits for currently retired individuals, as well as those contemplating retirement. Read More

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