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Fiduciary Matters blog

Insights for institutional investors

August 27, 2015By

To make sense of these turbulent markets, don’t ask a physicist. Ask a biologist.

It would be easier to make sense of occasional bouts of market turbulence if we thought of markets as biological systems rather than machines.

Categories: Category: Market commentary
By August 19, 2015

Passive products need to be judged by the same standard as everything else

A “low fee exemption” from the proposed new fiduciary rule could create a material conflict of interest for advisors.

Categories: Category: The retirement system
By August 13, 2015

It was clear thinking, not the math, that made the Dietz method a breakthrough

The Dietz Method is a basic element of every investment analyst’s education, and lies behind just about every one of the millions of performance calculations carried out every day. Taken as a given in today’s investment world, it was not always seen as obvious.

Categories: Category: Investment management
By August 4, 2015

Multiple employer plans move out of the shadows and into the spotlight

Not to be confused with the troubled multiemployer sector, MEPs have been around for a long time, but have existed in the shadows of the retirement system, away from the spotlight.

Categories: Category: The retirement system
By July 27, 2015

How big is longevity risk?

A fundamental difference between a defined benefit (DB) pension plan and a defined contribution (DC) pension plan is that, with DB, the plan participant generally receives a known income throughout retirement that lasts as long as they do.

Categories: Category: Defined contribution strategy
By July 20, 2015

A caveat to the (usually sound) advice to pension fiduciaries to “document, document, document”

To the many perils of being a fiduciary for a corporate or public pension plan, maybe we need to add a growing threat of being buried under a dreary onslaught of policies, procedures and paperwork. It can wear down even the toughest.

Categories: Category: Governance & risk
By July 10, 2015

IRS clamp down on lump sum cashouts for retirees; affirm commitment to lifetime retirement income

On July 9, the IRS issued a notice that they no longer intend to permit lump sum cash outs of pension benefits for retirees. This notice will not directly affect cash outs for terminated vested participants (whose benefits have not commenced payment.) Although the notice may have come as a surprise to many, there have been signs of disapproval for some time. The notice can be seen as an affirmation of the regulators’ commitment to ensuring that the retirement system is focused on the provision of lifetime retirement income, not simply on the accumulation of wealth.