News

News

Welcome Lazard Asset Management to IPPFA
Source: IPPFA

Welcome Lazard Asset Management to IPPFA.

For decades, we have been managing investment portfolios and providing investment advice to institutional and individual investors around the world.

Lazard Asset Management now operates from 18 cities across 13 countries with a global staff of over 750. Our more than 300 investment personnel manage US $222.4 billion across a wide range of global, regional and country-specific strategies – both traditional and alternative – in listed equity and fixed income.

 

Read more

1.5 Million Retirees Await Congressional Fix for a Pension Time Bomb
Source: The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The sprawling agreement to boost government spending reached by Republicans and Democrats this month quietly included a step toward defusing what could be a financial time bomb for 1.5 million retirees and hundreds of companies in the industrial Midwest and the South.

The deal creates a select congressional committee to craft what could effectively be a federal rescue of as many as 200 so-called “multiemployer” pension plans — in which employers and labor unions band together to provide retirement benefits to employees.

Many of these plans are hurtling toward insolvency in the coming decade, with benefits owed to retirees projected to swamp what the plans can afford to pay. The 16-member, bipartisan committee will have to come up with a solution and legislation by the end of November, which the full Senate would need to vote on by the end of the year.

Full Article

 


 

Read more

Will the Financial Fragility of Retirees Increase?
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Retirees have long been seen as financially fragile – that is, ill-equipped to handle a financial shock without severe hardship.
  • Interestingly, the research suggests that the vast majority of current retirees can weather shocks such as high medical bills and widowhood.
  • Future retirees, however, face greater risk as most people are not saving enough and it is hard to manage a nest egg.
  • The best responses are to reduce fixed expenses (e.g., downsize) and draw more income from assets (e.g., buy an annuity).

Full Article

 


 

Read more

Kentucky House backing off from switch to DC retirement plans
Source: BenefitsPro

A move proposed by Kentucky’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, last year to transition the state’s public employees from defined benefit to defined contribution plan appears to be losing support—especially after a controversial e-mail sent by business leaders in the state urged lawmakers to end DB plans.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that while no pension bill has yet been introduced in the Kentucky legislature—state workers are already suing retirement system officials and asset management firms over losses sustained by the state’s pension fund—the letter has definitely set teeth on edge.

Full Article

 


 

Read more

Public Pensions Strengthened Their Funding in 2017
Source: National Public Pension Coalition

 

Public pension plans continued to improve and strengthen their funded status last year. That is the takeaway from a new report by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS). With many plans earning double-digit investment returns, pension plans took the opportunity to fortify their funded position for the long term.

The annual survey of state and local pensions by NCPERS found that most plans met or exceeded their investment return assumptions. On average, the surveyed pension plans reported 1 year returns of 7.8%, 5 year returns of 8.4%, and 20 year returns of 7.4%. As we’ve noted before on this blog, many public pension plans earned double-digit investment returns during 2017. Just this week, Oregon PERS reported earning 15.3%, more than double their expectations.

Full Article

 


 

Read more

Retirement Benefits
Source: Social Security Administration

Social Security offers an online retirement application that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes. It’s so easy. Better yet, you can apply from the comfort of your home or office at a time most convenient for you. There’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative.

In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed.

Full Article

 


 

Read more

Why Have Interest Rates Fallen Far Below the Return on Capital
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

 

Risk-free rates have been falling since the 1980s while the return on capital has not. We analyze these trends in a calibrated OLG model with recursive preferences, designed to encompass many of the “usual suspects” cited in the debate on secular stagnation. Declining labor force and productivity growth imply a limited decline in real interest rates and deleveraging cannot account for the joint decline in the risk free rate and increase in the risk premium. If we allow for a change in the (perceived) risk to productivity growth to fit the data, we find that the decline in the risk-free rate requires an increase in the borrowing capacity of the indebted agents in the model, consistent with the increase in the sum of public and private debt since the crisis, but at odds with a deleveraging-based explanation put forth in Eggertsson and Krugman (2012).

Full Article

 


 

Read more

Economic Outlook Symposium: Summary of 2017 results and 2018 forecasts
Source: Chicago Fed Letter

According to participants in the Chicago Fed’s annual Economic Outlook Symposium, the U.S. economy is forecasted to grow at a pace slightly above average in 2018, with inflation moving up a little and the unemployment rate remaining low.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held its 31st annual Economic Outlook Symposium (EOS) on December 1, 2017. More than 100 economists and analysts from business, academia, and government attended the conference. This Chicago Fed Letter reviews the forecasts for 2017 from the previous EOS, and then analyzes the forecasts for 2018 (see figure 1) and summarizes the presentations from the most recent EOS.

The U.S. economy entered the ninth year of its expansion in the third quarter of 2017. While the nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is at its highest level in history, the rate of economic growth since the end of the Great Recession in mid-2009 has been quite restrained. During the 33 quarters following the second quarter of 2009, the annualized rate of real GDP growth was 2.2%—just slightly above what is considered the long-term rate of growth for the U.S. economy.

Full Article

 


 

Read more

The Nation’s Retirement System
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

The U.S. retirement system, and the workers and retirees it was designed to help, face major challenges. Traditional pensions have become much less common, and individuals are increasingly responsible for planning and managing their own retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k) plans. Yet research shows that many households are ill-equipped for this task and have little or no retirement savings. In this special report, GAO examines these challenges, drawing from prior work and others’ research, as well as insights from a panel of retirement experts on how to better ensure a secure and adequate retirement, with dignity, for all.

Full Article

 


 

Read more

Illinois Ponders Pension-Fund Moonshot: a $107 Billion Bond Sale
Source: Bloomberg Markets

 

Lawmakers in Illinois are so desperate to shore up the state’s massively underfunded retirement system that they’re willing to entertain an eye-popping wager: Borrowing $107 billion and letting it ride in the financial markets.

The legislature’s personnel and pensions committee plans to meet on Jan. 30 to hear more about a proposal advanced by the State Universities Annuitants Association, according to Representative Robert Martwick. The group wants Illinois to issue the bonds this year to get its retirement system nearly fully funded, assuming that the state can make more on its investments than it will pay in interest.

Full Article

 


 

Read more
Top