Findley Davies has developed the following Pension IndicatorTM to allow employers to mitigate their risk exposure by monitoring the estimated changes to their pension plan’s funded status as it is reported for financial statement purposes under U.S. GAAP. The tables below provide the percentage change in the funded level of the plan, both year-to-date and month-over-month as of March 31, 2011, based on the investment mix and plan type.
The Pension IndicatorTM will be updated on a monthly basis.
|Investment Mix (Equity / Fixed Income)|
|Frozen (for several years)||5.1%||4.0%||2.9%||1.8%|
|Investment Mix (Equity / Fixed Income)|
|Frozen (for several years)||0.5%||0.5%||0.5%||0.5%|
The U.S. equities market weathered some body blows the past month, but is proving to be a good boxer. The feeling is that not too long ago, one event such as the tragedy in Japan or the spreading unrest in the Middle East and North Africa would have derailed the rally. While the market dropped initially as expected following the earthquake and tsunami, its resilience showed and managed to end up essentially flat for the month.
Our bond yield curve analysis shows yields improved slightly over most of the durations. The movement of the yield curve is such that it accounts for all of the change in funded levels this month. As you can see, the investment mix had no impact on funded levels as both bonds and equities were flat.
We continue to still be ahead for the year in every category. Now sitting at the quarter pole of the year, here’s to continued optimism in the markets. At the same time, our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have suffered and mourned over the devastation in Japan.
© Findley Davies, Inc. 2011
About the Findley Davies Pension IndicatorTM
Findley Davies, Inc. has developed this indicator to allow employers to monitor the estimated changes to their pension plan’s funded status as it is reported for financial statement purposes under U.S. GAAP.
Example 1: If the market value of the pension plan’s assets as of December 31, previous year, was $90 million and the projected benefit obligation as of the same date, December 31, previous year, was $100 million, the funded plan percentage was 90%. If the year-to-date Pension IndicatorTM is +6%, the current estimated funded plan percentage would now be 106% of 90%, or 95.4%*. Similarly, if the year-to-date Pension IndicatorTM is -7%, the current estimated funded plan percentage would be 93% of 90%, or 83.7%*.
Example 2: Assuming that the funded plan percentage as of the last day of the previous month was estimated to be 90%, then if the monthly Pension IndicatorTM is +2%, the current estimated funded plan percentage would now be 102% of 90%, or 91.8%*. Similarly, if the monthly Pension IndicatorTM is -1%, the current estimated funded plan percentage would be 99% of 90%, or 89.1%*.
* All other factors and variables holding steady.
The Findley Davies Pension IndicatorTM is the property of Findley Davies, Inc. Use of the Pension IndicatorTM is not restricted if proper attribution to Findley Davies is made. Its use should be limited for estimation purposes only and Findley Davies does not assume any liability for its use or misuse by any other person not authorized by and acting on behalf of the Firm.
Additional Information and Disclaimers
The asset return is developed using total return statistics from readily-available indicators for both equity and fixed income instruments. A weighted-average of the equity and fixed income returns are then used for the differing ratios presented. Due to the numerous different investment choices/styles/managers, your plan’s performance may differ significantly from the results presented here.
Contributions to the pension plan are assumed to be equal to the benefits being earned in the current year. As such, the funded level of the plan is unaffected by this factor in the analysis. The funded status would, of course, be impacted by higher or lower actual contribution amounts.
The cash flows from the non-cash balance plans assume no lump sum payments are available to participants. The cash balance plan assumes 100% of participants will elect a lump sum benefit at termination of employment.
© 2011 Findley Davies, Inc.