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  #31  
Old 06-09-2014, 05:19 PM
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again, this cuts across both public and private pensions

http://www.pionline.com/article/2014...astrophe-bonds

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Significant demand for insurance-linked securities, in particular catastrophe bonds, has driven down yields and taken some of the luster off the once-shining beacons of uncorrelated assets in a pension fund's investment portfolio.

But all is not lost.

Now comfortable with the ILS sector, investors are looking beyond the more liquid, but arguably more expensive, parts of the market such as windstorm- and earthquake-related bonds, and seeking uncorrelated yield in securities that insure against firestorms and more esoteric calamities. They are also becoming more comfortable with ILS investments that are less liquid.

“There are newer products coming to market to sate some of the demand ... we will see more and more esoteric risk that goes beyond earthquake and wind — it could be a type of firestorm, or something else,” said Joe Higgins, New York-based managing director and fixed-income portfolio manager at TIAA-CREF, which manages between $300 million and $500 million of ILS assets. The firm has a total $569 billion under management.

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  #32  
Old 06-16-2014, 05:28 PM
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UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/...-news/1.598629

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The United Methodist Church’s pension board is selling its shares in a British company that supplies security equipment to Israel for use in prisons and in the West Bank.

Though a pro-Palestinian movement inside the Church claimed the divestment is due to human rights violations by Israel, the UMC's pension board said the move was actually about the targeted company’s work with prisons in general.

A press release issued by United Methodist Kairos Response, a movement within the church that advocates on behalf of Palestinian Christians, said the decision to divest from G4S was “due in part to concerns about the company’s involvement in human rights violations in the Israeli prison system and the military occupation of Palestinian territories.”

However, the UMC's pension board denied these claims, and said that “Our rationale for selling G4S was that we felt the inherent nature of the company’s products and services — which are tailored to the prison industry — may not align with UMC values."

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  #33  
Old 07-04-2014, 11:50 AM
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BT in the UK

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...vity-insurance

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BT Group Plc (BT/A), the U.K.’s biggest phone company, has added longevity coverage for its 40 billion-pound ($69 billion) pension fund in case its members live longer than expected.

The longevity policy gives long-term protection to the plan, BT said in a statement today. The policy won’t require the company to make additional contributions for the U.K.’s biggest defined-benefit plan, it said.

The announcement comes as BT is reviewing its plan that pays more than than 2 billion pounds to members every year. BT may report a funding deficit, before tax, of 8.1 billion pounds as of June, analysts at Macquarie Research said in a note in May. That would mean payments of as much as 770 million pounds a year, more than double the current figure, Macquarie said.

“We expect more schemes to follow suit using this cost effective option,” Ben Stone, a pensions risk specialist for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC said in an e-mailed statement. “Hedging life expectancy risk in this way could become the norm.”

The risk for longevity has been reinsured with The Prudential Insurance Company of America. The arrangements cover more than 25 percent of the plan’s exposure to longevity, or about 16 billion pounds of its liabilities, BT said.

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  #34  
Old 07-10-2014, 01:19 PM
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http://online.wsj.com/articles/credi...625319776.html

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ZURICH— Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.VX -2.10% says its management of billions of dollars in assets for pension plans will be at risk unless a U.S. court pushes back sentencing of the Swiss bank for aiding tax evasion, following its guilty plea in May.

In a motion filed Tuesday in a Virginia court, Credit Suisse asked that sentencing, scheduled for next month, be pushed to "at least" the beginning of November, because the bank hasn't yet been able to receive permission from the U.S. Department of Labor to continue to provide services to pension plans in light of its guilty plea.

On May 19, Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to conspiring to help Americans evade taxes.

If Credit Suisse is sentenced as scheduled on Aug. 12 without first receiving Labor Department permission, that would "effectively preclude" the bank from managing finances on behalf of pension plans, it said. Without official consent from the department, counterparties on which Credit Suisse asset managers overseeing the plans regularly rely would likely cut ties with the bank once judgment in the case is entered, the bank said.

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  #35  
Old 07-10-2014, 01:21 PM
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http://www.cnbc.com/id/101805241

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House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he welcomes a plan to extend U.S. highway funding until May 31, 2015, from Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and hopes to see it pass the House within two weeks.
.....
Camp's $10.9 billion plan would be paid for with some fund transfers and revenue-raising measures, including $6.5 billion in new revenue from "pension smoothing," an accounting move that allows companies to delay contributions to employee pension plans. This boosts short-term corporate profits, producing more tax revenue collected by the Treasury.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/...ing-is-a-sham/

Quote:
Pity House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp. He wants to rewrite the tax code in a serious way, but instead he’s spending his days trying to come up with imaginary revenue sources to pay for important spending priorities like rebuilding our crumbling highways. Tomorrow, his committee will consider a proposal to partially pay for topping up the highway trust fund with a cynical budget gimmick called “pension smoothing.”

In a nutshell, here’s what it does: Companies can postpone contributions to their pension funds. This means that their tax deductions for pension contributions are lower now, but the actual pension obligations don’t change, so contributions later will have to be higher—by the same amount plus interest. In present value terms (that is, accounting for interest costs), this raises exactly zero revenue over the long run.

Let me say that again using all capital letters to express my frustration.

THIS $6.4 BILLION REVENUE PROVISION RAISES NO REVENUE OVER THE LONG RUN!!!

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  #36  
Old 07-10-2014, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Wag, the Dog View Post
Millard was an idiot

Millard is an idiot

Millard will always be an idiot
Quote:
neither corporations nor pension recipients would gain the benefit of long-term investing that can reduce the cost of maintaining a pension
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  #37  
Old 07-13-2014, 12:23 PM
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the accounting trickery is not going over well

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/07/13...ions.html?_r=1

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The Federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money in August. So, naturally, Congress is debating a temporary fix that involves letting corporations underfund their pension systems.

Of course, we could replenish the fund by raising the federal gasoline tax, which is its primary source of financing. That’s what Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, and Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, want to do. But increasing gas taxes is unpopular, so Congress hasn’t done so since 1993, which means that the tax on gas has actually fallen 39 percent over the last 21 years after you adjust for inflation. Instead, Congress has used a series of gimmicks and shifts to keep the fund solvent as highway construction costs have risen.

The latest proposal, which passed the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, works like this: If you change corporate pension funding rules to let companies set aside less money today to pay for future benefits, they will report higher taxable profits. And if they have higher taxable profits, they will pay more in taxes over the 10-year budget window that Congress uses to write laws. Those added taxes can be diverted to the Federal Highway Trust Fund.

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  #38  
Old 07-14-2014, 11:32 AM
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Didn't we just do this a couple of years ago (MAP21)?
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  #39  
Old 07-14-2014, 03:45 PM
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Didn't we just do this a couple of years ago (MAP21)?
Yes, and pension shops again need an additional source of revenue, i.e. needlessly redoing 2013 funding valuations.
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  #40  
Old 07-14-2014, 04:01 PM
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My sig line says it all.
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