Annuity Purchase Update: February 2020 Interest Rates

February 2020 Duration: 7 Years 15 Years   7 Years 15 Years Range Rate: 1.68% – 2.10% 1.98% – 2.30% Average Rate: 1.93% 2.12% As mentioned in our January 2020 Pension Finance Update, pension plans lost ground last month. The strong equity market returns of 2019 were set back by a poor performance in January…. Read More

Eighth Circuit rules stable value provider is a fiduciary

On February 3, 2020, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, in Rozo v. Principal, that Principal was a fiduciary with respect to one of its stable value products – the Principal Fixed Income Option (PFIO) – because of (1) its ability (unilaterally) to set the guaranteed rate on the PFIO and (2) the sponsor’s inability… Read More

Supreme Court refuses to hear Brotherston

On January 12, 2020, the Supreme Court denied review of the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision for plaintiffs in Brotherston v. Putnam. One of the critical issues in Brotherston was the First Circuit’s holding (reversing the lower court) that plaintiffs could establish their claim, that the inclusion of certain actively managed Putnam funds in a 401(k) plan… Read More

January 2020 Pension Finance Update

Pensions got clobbered in January, as stock markets mostly lost ground while interest rates reached new all-time lows. Both model plans we track lost ground last month, with Plan A dropping 4% while the more conservative Plan B lost 1%.

Supreme Court sends Jander back to Second Circuit

On January 14, 2020, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Jander v. IBM, a stock drop case, sending the case back to the Second Circuit for consideration of two questions raised by defendant IBM and the Government in their briefs that had not been considered by the Second Circuit. The decision is unusual. It is an… Read More

DOL to revisit proxy voting rules

The Department of Labor’s regulatory agenda includes a “deregulatory” project on ERISA rules for proxy voting. In this article we review current DOL rules on proxy voting and consider some of the issues that may come up under this (de)regulation project. Background – April 2019 Executive Order In April 2019 President Trump issued an “Executive… Read More

Annuity Purchase Update: January 2020 Interest Rates

The average duration 7 annuity purchase interest rates and average duration 15 rates have both increased by roughly 30 basis points since September 2019. This increase in rates since September led to a corresponding decrease in annuity purchase prices of approximately 7% for both Annuity Plan 1 and Annuity Plan 2.

SECURE implementation: effective dates of key provisions

Changes to current rules applicable to retirement plans made by the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act (signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019) are (in most cases) already effective. In this article we review, very briefly, the effective dates of some of the key provisions of SECURE and sponsor… Read More

December 2019 Pension Finance Update

2019 was the best of times, then the worst of times, then the best of times again for pension finance. Overall assessment: meh. During December, both model plans we track[1] gained ground for the fourth consecutive month: Plan A improved 2% and finished 2019 even, while Plan B gained less than 1%, ending 2019 up less… Read More

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