The great political problem (what economists these days call a 'public choice' problem) is that politicians worldwide have every incentive to defer or avoid decisions about pension reform, however urgent or necessary that reform. Investors should be aware, and be wary.
Posts Tagged ‘ pension funds ’
Charles Skorina looks at the pension fund situation and what's changed over the years and what hasn't...
Shane Brett looks at the future of global pensions and what he sees isn't pretty.
The Skorina Report: Corporate pension performance: Some great investors no one noticed…and some surprising losersOct 25th, 2012 | Filed under: Institutional Investing, Today's Post
Charles Skorina looks at corporate pension funds and finds....
The reason for the increased interest in alternatives, McKinsey says, isn’t that the alternatives’ managers are slashing the price of their services. It is, rather, a discontent with the return to be gained from traditional investment. “Even with downward pressure likely over the next few years, revenue yields for institutional alternative products should remain well above the 35 bps average earned on today’s traditional institutional products.”
Charles Skorina speaks with Curtis Loftis, Treasurer of South Carolina about investment fees.
The phrase “hybrid pension system,” as you might expect, refers to systems that can be categorized neither as defined contribution nor as defined benefit simply. This may involve for example risk sharing amongst employees, within or between generations of recipients, in the context of a collective defined contribution (CDC). The essential argument of this study, by Samuel Sender, Applied Research Manager at EDHEC, is that demographics will push both DC and DB plans to hybridize.
It looks like the pension funds are worse off than if they had stuck to vanilla bonds and stocks, not least because of the management fees they pay to alternative investment managers.
Consultants expect that managers' need to generate steady income in a low interest rate environment will drive a lot of portfolio turnover in 2012, inclusive of the movement of alternatives into core positions within portfolios, and it will drive one-time U.S. focused investors and managers to look abroad. Meanwhile, pensions are retreating toward passive mandates.
The top four risks facing pension fund sponsors, in the order of importance assigned to them by those sponsors, are: underfunding of liabilities; asset & liability mismatch; asset allocation; meeting return goals. These are the same four goals that were top rated last year. “The year-over-year consistency in the top four risk factors … is not entirely surprising” the study authors say. The consultancy and actuarial firm Milliman lowered the average discount rate from 4.53 percent in November to 4.25 percent in December 2011.
Commodities have been the big story of the past decade – almost a repeat of the inflation-burdened 1970s. If hems reflect stock market sentiment, we should be seeing an outbreak of bell-bottom trousers and platform shoes. Certainly, a new cohort of investors, institutional and retail alike, see price rises in the elements core inflation strips out – namely food and energy – as a secular shift. Still, appearances can be deceiving. A recent study argues a long-only bet on commodities is likely to result in a return that is statistically 0: not the 1970s at all.