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1 Chapter 29 Pension Plan Management. 2 Topics in Chapter Pension plan terminology Defined benefit versus defined contribution plans Pension fund investment.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Chapter 29 Pension Plan Management. 2 Topics in Chapter Pension plan terminology Defined benefit versus defined contribution plans Pension fund investment."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Chapter 29 Pension Plan Management

2 2 Topics in Chapter Pension plan terminology Defined benefit versus defined contribution plans Pension fund investment tactics Retiree health benefits

3 3 How important are pension funds? They constitute the largest class of investors. They hold about 33% of all U. S. stocks.

4 4 Pension Plan Terminology Defined benefit plan: Employer agrees to give retirees a specific benefit, generally a percentage of final salary. Defined contribution plan: Employer agrees to make specific payments into a retirement fund, frequently a mutual fund. Retirees benefits depend on the investment performance of their own fund. 401(k) is the most common type. (More...)

5 5 Profit sharing plan: Employer payments vary with the firms profits. (Defined contribution, but as a percentage of profits). Cash balance plan: Employer promises to put a specified percentage of the employees salary into the plan, and to pay a specified return on the plans assets. (More...)

6 6 Vesting: Gives the employee the right to receive pension benefits at retirement even if he/she leaves the company before retirement. Deferred vesting: Pension rights are not vested for the first few years. Portability: A portable pension plan can be moved to another employer if the employee changes jobs. (More...)

7 7 Fully funded: Value of plan assets equals the present value of expected retirement benefits. Underfunded: Plan assets are less than the PV of the benefits. An unfunded liability is said to exist. Overfunded: The reverse of underfunded. (More...)

8 8 The actuarial rate of return is the rate of return: used to find the PV of expected benefits (discount rate). at which the funds assets are assumed to be invested. (More...)

9 9 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA): The federal law governing the administration and structure of corporate pension plans. (More...)

10 10 Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC): A government agency created by ERISA to ensure that employees of firms which go bankrupt before their defined benefit plans are fully funded will receive some minimum level of benefits. However, for high income employees (i.e., airline pilots), PBGC pension payments are often less than those promised by the company.

11 11 Pension Funds and Financial Reporting Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), together with the SEC, establishes rules for reporting pension information. Pension costs are huge, and assumptions have major effect on reported profits. (More...)

12 12 Defined Contribution Plan: The annual contribution is shown as a cost on the income statement. A note explains the entry. Defined Benefit Plan: The plans funding status must be reported directly on the balance sheet. (More...)

13 13 The annual pension contribution (expense) is shown on the income statement. Details regarding the annual expense, along with the composition of the funds assets, are reported in the notes section. The annual pension contribution is tied to the assumed actuarial rate of return: the greater the assumed return, the smaller the contribution.

14 14 Annual Contributions for Full Funding Data/Assumptions: Employee begins work at 25, will work 40 years until 65, and then retire. Employee will live another 15 years, to age 80, and will draw a pension of $20,000 per year. The plans actuarial rate of return is 10%.

15 ,000 0 N I PV PMT FV Input Output 152, Required amount in plan at retirement date

16 16 N I PV PMT FV Input Output Annual Contribution During Employment Years

17 Years Dollars ($000) Graph of Pension Fund Assets

18 18 Additional Real World Complexities. Dont know how long the employee will work for the firm (the 40 years). Dont know what the annual pension payment will be (the $20,000). Dont know what rate of return the pension fund will earn (the 10%). A large number of employees creates complexities, but it also reduces the aggregate actuarial uncertainty.

19 19 Risks Borne by Plan Sponsor and Plan Beneficiaries Defined benefit plan: Most risk falls on the company, because it guarantees to pay a specific retirement benefit regardless of the firms profitability or the return on the plans assets. (More...)

20 20 Defined contribution plan: Places more risk on employees, because benefits depend on the return performance of each employees chosen investment fund. Profit sharing: Most risk to employee, least to employer. Company doesnt pay into fund unless it has earnings, and employees bear investment risk. (More...)

21 21 Cash balance: Middle of the road in terms of risk for both employer and employee. Employers payment obligations are fixed and known, while employees are guaranteed a specified return.

22 22 What type of companies tend to have each type of plan? Large, more mature companies (and governments) tend to use defined benefit plans. New, start-up companies tend to use profit sharing plans. Many older companies are shifting to defined contribution and cash balance plans.

23 23 How are assets administered in defined contribution plans? Usually set up as a 401(k) plan. Employees make tax-deductible contributions into one or more investment vehicles (often mutual funds) established by the company. Company may make independent or matching contributions.

24 24 Pension Plans and the Possibility of Age Discrimination? Defined benefit plans are more costly to firms when older workers are hired. The firm has a shorter time to accumulate the needed funds, hence must make larger annual contributions.

25 25 Pension Plans and the Possibility of Gender Discrimination? Since women live longer than men, female employees are more costly under defined benefit plans.

26 26 Pension Plans and Employee Training Costs? Defined benefit plans encourage employees to stay with a single company, hence they reduce training costs. Vesting and portability facilitate job shifts, hence increase training costs.

27 27 Pension Plans and Union Conflicts at Financially Distressed Firms Benefits paid under defined benefit plans are usually tied to the number of years worked and the final (or last few) years salary. Therefore, unions are more likely to work with a firm to ensure its survival under a defined benefit plan.

28 28 Two Components of a Plans Funding Strategy How fast should any unfunded liability be reduced? What rate of return should be assumed in the actuarial calculations?

29 29 What is the primary goal of a plans investment strategy? To structure the portfolio to minimize the risk of not achieving the assumed actuarial rate of return. A low risk portfolio will mean low expected returns, which will mean larger annual contributions, which hurt profits.

30 30 Judging the Performance of Pension Plan Managers Alpha analysis: Compare the realized return on the portfolio with the required return on the portfolio. Comparative analysis: Compare the managers historical returns with other managers having the same investment objective (same risk profile).

31 31 Whats meant by tapping pension fund assets? This occurs when a company terminates an overfunded defined benefit plan, uses a portion of the funds to purchase annuities which provide the promised pensions to employees, and then recovers the excess for use by the firm. First used by corporate raiders after takeovers, with proceeds used to pay down takeover debt.

32 32 Why is tapping controversial? Some people believe that pension fund assets belong to employees, hence tapping robs employees. (Excess funds make it easier to bargain for higher benefits.) Courts have ruled that defined benefit plan assets belong to the firm, so firms can recover these assets as long as this action does not jeopardize current employees contractual benefits.

33 33 Rising Costs of Retiree Health Benefits Because of the increased number of retirees, longer life expectancies, and the dramatic escalation in health care costs over the last ten years, many firms are forecasting that retiree health care costs will be as high, or higher, than pension costs.

34 34 How are retiree health benefits reported to shareholders? Before 1990, firms used pay-as-you-go procedures which concealed the true liability. Now companies must set up reserves for retiree medical benefits. Firms must report current expenses to account for vested future medical benefits. The 1990 rule has forced companies to assess their retiree health care liability. Many are now cutting benefits.


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