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All News > Funding of DB Plans

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PBGC 2020 Annual Report (PDF)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Dec. 10, 2020

153 pages. "The Single-Employer Insurance Program's positive net position of $15.5 billion reflects an improvement of $6.8 billion compared to FY 2019. While currently financially healthy, the Single-Employer Insurance Program remains exposed to more than $176 billion in underfunding in pension plans sponsored by financially weak companies that could potentially become claims to PBGC. The Multiemployer Insurance Program continues to face a crisis ... and is highly likely to become insolvent in 2026. The Multiemployer Insurance Program remains severely underfunded with a negative net position of $63.7 billion, compared to $65.2 billion a year earlier. It remains clear that legislative reform is necessary to avert insolvency[.]"

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans  •  PBGC

The Importance of Monitoring Withdrawal Liability
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
Dec. 9, 2020

"An uninformed employer may be tempted to cease participation to avoid the rising costs of employer contributions to these plans.... Even for a relatively small bargaining unit, exiting an underfunded plan can result in a multimillion-dollar assessment. In mergers and acquisitions, multiemployer plan liabilities can jeopardize the deal or cultivate post-closing litigation, unless properly addressed in the asset purchase agreement or stock purchase agreement."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans

Pension Indicator, November 2020
Findley Link to more items from this source
Dec. 9, 2020

"[P]lans invested for asset growth returned 8.1%, while LDI light portfolios also performed well, returning 6.6%. Liabilities were also generally higher in the month, with older frozen and cash balance plans up 2.6%–2.8%. More recently frozen plans and those with ongoing benefit accruals experienced liability increases of 4.1% and 5.5%, respectively. Plans with more of a growth orientation that have been frozen for a while may have experienced an increase in funded status of >5% in the month."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

Retirement Update, December 2020
River and Mercantile Link to more items from this source
Dec. 9, 2020

"Global equities experienced their strongest performance month of 2020, up over 10% with small cap and international developed markets leading the way. Pension discount rates took one of their bigger monthly dives for the year, down 0.20%-0.30%, bringing the total discount rate decline relative to year-end 2019 to approximately 0.70%. Despite the drop in discount rates, most pension plans will see an increase in funded status for the month, as equity gains more than offset liability increases. Year-to-date, pension plan funded status may actually be recovering to beginning of year levels."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Corporate Pension Funded Status Improves Thanks to November Investment Gains
Milliman Retirement Town Hall Link to more items from this source
Dec. 8, 2020

"November's 5.03% investment gain tops the whopping 4.68% return of April, putting 2020 in the record books for having two of the top 10 highest return months in the same year. This improvement was countered by a 24-basis point decrease in the monthly discount rate, however, which saw pension liabilities increase by $65 billion. As a result, the funded status for the Milliman 100 PFI improved by only $12 billion, while the funded ratio climbed from 85.2% at the end of October to 86.2% as of November 30."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

Illinois Pension Funding Crisis Looming, Tax Measure Failure Hurts Prospects
Institute for Pension Fund Integrity [IPFI] Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Dec. 8, 2020

"Rather than raising taxes on the wealthiest to cover the pension deficit, the state will now have to look toward alternative measures, including broader tax increases across the board as well as cutting future pension earnings for new workers. One of the paths to reform would be a complete overhaul: a constitutional amendment to cut already-promised benefits. The state should also consider taking smaller measures, including considering more stable investments and using more realistic investment predictions."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Local Regulation  •  Retirement Plan Policy  •  State and Local Government Plans

Defined Benefit Risk: Literature Search Report (PDF)
Society of Actuaries Link to more items from this source
Dec. 4, 2020

20 pages. "The Retirement Section of the Society of Actuaries commissioned a research project on the topic of communicating pension risk, recognizing the challenges in addressing this complicated topic with stakeholders.... The literature search [is] limited to articles addressing risk for U.S. defined benefit plans, and [targets] plan sponsors and their agents as opposed to plan participants, insurers, or regulatory agencies such as the [PBGC]." [Also available: Literature Search Results (XLSX).]

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Text of PBGC Final Regs: Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Valuation of Benefits and Assets -- Expected Retirement Age
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Dec. 4, 2020

"This rule amends the [PBGC]'s regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans by substituting a new table for determining expected retirement ages for participants in pension plans undergoing distress or involuntary termination with valuation dates falling in 2021. This table is needed to compute the value of early retirement benefits and, thus, the total value of benefits under a plan.... This rule is effective January 1, 2021."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

2020 Public Pension Funding Study
Milliman Link to more items from this source
Dec. 4, 2020

"June 30, 2019, is the measurement date for three-quarters of the plans in the 2020 study. The 12 months since that date were marked by extreme market volatility amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.... [The authors] estimate that aggregate plan assets rose just slightly from $3.82 trillion as of the most recent fiscal year-ends to $3.84 trillion as of June 30, 2020."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  State and Local Government Plans

Corporate Pension Plans Funded Status, November 2020 (PDF)
NEPC Link to more items from this source
Dec. 4, 2020

"Based on NEPC's hypothetical open- and frozen-pension plans, the funded status of the total-return plan went up by 2.6%, while the LDI-focused plan saw an increase of 3.8% as long-duration fixed income outperformed on the back of falling credit yields."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  State and Local Government Plans

Third Quarter U.S. Single-Premium Pension Buy-Out Sales Double Second Quarter Results
LIMRA Link to more items from this source
Dec. 3, 2020

"U.S. single premium buy-out sales totaled $4.6 billion in the third quarter, down 41% from third quarter 2019 but double the $2.3 billion sold in the second quarter ... Year-to-date buy-out sales totaled $11.3 billion, a drop of 32%, compared with the $16.7 billion sold in the first nine months of 2019."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

Annuity Purchase Update: November 2020 Interest Rates
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Dec. 2, 2020

"[In November,] annuity purchase prices declined 0.22% for Annuity Plan 1 and 1.33% for Annuity Plan 2. The fourth quarter is very busy for insurers. It is imperative to start the [pension risk transfer] process immediately to secure insurer availability for a purchase this year. Plan funded status has generally declined for pension plans in 2020 and PBGC premiums will increase next year."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Pension Finance Update, November 2020
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Dec. 2, 2020

"Stocks enjoyed their strongest month of the year in November, propelling pensions toward positive territory for the year. Both model plans ... gained ground last month, with Plan A adding close to 5% and Plan B close to 2% during the month. For the year, Plan A is down less than 1% and Plan B is even through the first eleven months of 2020."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, November 30, 2020
David Rigby, via BenefitsLink Message Boards Link to more items from this source
Dec. 1, 2020

An unofficial monthly report of the Moody's Daily Long-term Corporate Bond Yield Averages and Moody's Daily Treasury Yield Averages (used as benchmarks by some corporate pension plans).

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

De-Risking Strategies of Defined Benefit Plans: Empirical Evidence from the United States (PDF)
Society of Actuaries Link to more items from this source
Nov. 24, 2020

48 pages. "Firms with low profitability, poor pension funding status, high pension asset beta, or high earnings/stock volatility are more likely to de-risk DB pension plans.... De-risking increases long-term shareholder value and reduces net pension beta (the difference between pension asset beta and pension liability beta)."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

Editor's Pick IRS Bends on CARES Act Funding Deadline; PBGC Follows Suit
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Nov. 20, 2020

"[F]or calendar-year plans and some noncalendar-year plans starting late in the calendar year, the [effective interest rate (EIR)] almost certainly won’t be known by the Jan. 4 contribution due date. In that case, sponsors should estimate interest using the highest of the three segment rates for the plan year. This conservative approach will ensure that the contribution is at least as large as needed to satisfy minimum requirements. If the actual EIR is lower than the estimate, the sponsor can create prefunding balance with the excess contributions. However, what this means for PBGC premiums is unclear."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  PBGC

Beware of Possible Union Pension Plan Withdrawal Liability
Frost Brown Todd LLC Link to more items from this source
Nov. 19, 2020

"Tips on avoiding withdrawal liability.... [1] Don't sign a collective bargaining agreement ... without reviewing the current plan financial information, the plan document and the plan participation or joinder agreement.... [2] [S]ome multiemployer pension plans purporting to be well funded for government reporting purposes use a lower interest rate for calculating withdrawal liability than they use for funding purposes, which will result in withdrawal liability when you might not otherwise expect it.... [3] [P]ersonal assets such as rental real estate in an unincorporated business could be exposed to withdrawal liability if that business is in 'common control' with the business that participates in the multiemployer pension plan."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans

Estimated Cost of Retiree Pension Risk Transfer as Low as 100.3% in October
Milliman Link to more items from this source
Nov. 18, 2020

"During October, the average estimated cost to transfer retiree pension risk to an insurer increased by 60 basis points, from 102.3% of a plan's total liabilities to 102.9% of those liabilities.... Annuity purchase costs reflecting competition amongst insurers are even lower, at 100.3%, up from 100.2% in September."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Text of IRS Notice 2020-81: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for November 2020 (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Nov. 17, 2020

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under Section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) ... In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under Section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under Section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I)."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Text of IRS Notice 2020-82: Implementation of the CARES Act's Extended Due Date for Contributions to Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Nov. 16, 2020

"This notice provides that the IRS will treat a contribution to a single-employer defined benefit pension plan with an extended due date of January 1, 2021 pursuant to Section 3608(a)(1) of the [CARES Act], as timely if it is made no later than January 4, 2021 (which is the first business day after January 1, 2021)."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Pension Funding Update, November 2020
River and Mercantile Solutions Link to more items from this source
Nov. 11, 2020

"Global stock markets started the month strong, but took a turn for the worse in the last week of the month and ended the month down 2-3%. Pension discount rates were up about 0.10%-0.15% from the previous month, but are still down noticeably for the year. For most pension plans, the equity losses for the month will have outweighed the liability gains due to the increase in the discount rate, leading to an overall decline in funded status."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

Most Plan Sponsors Not Expecting Delays in Future Pension Buy-Out Activity Due to COVID-19 (PDF)
MetLife Link to more items from this source
Nov. 9, 2020

"Just 19% of plan sponsors interested in an annuity buyout with a specific timeframe in mind reported that the pandemic has decreased or delayed the likelihood of transacting ... A vast majority (81%) said there had either been no change in plans due to COVID-19 (27%), or that the pandemic has actually increased or accelerated the likelihood they would transact (55%)."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Funding of DB Plans

PBGC to Pay Pension Benefits for J.C. Penney Corporation Workers, Retirees
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Nov. 6, 2020

"The [PBGC] is taking responsibility for the J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Pension Plan, which covers about 36,000 current and future retirees.... The termination of the plan will be effective as of November 6, 2020. PBGC estimates that J.C. Penney's plan is 92 percent funded with approximately $3.3 billion in assets and about $3.6 billion in benefit liabilities. The plan is underfunded by $270 million."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  PBGC

Pension Funding Index, November 2020
Milliman Link to more items from this source
Nov. 6, 2020

"The deficit declined to $285 billion primarily due to liability gains resulting from an increase in the benchmark corporate bond interest rates used to value those pension liabilities. This is the lowest PFI pension deficit since March, when it was $243 billion. As of October 31, the funded ratio improved to 85.1%, from 84.4% at the end of September."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

Pension Finance Update, October 2020
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Nov. 4, 2020

"Stocks slipped again in October, producing modest declines for pensions. Both model plans ... lost less than 1% during the month. For the year, Plan A is down more than 5% and Plan B is down almost 2% through the first ten months of 2020."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans


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