April 1994

Brave New World

Once again it is a brave new world-for consultants and their clients, for emerging market investors, and for every US public company with a funded pension plan. In this issue of Plan Sponsor, we show you why.

Hitting the Next Pitch

Misleading trade cost measurements are appreciably worse than none at all.

Immediate Deductibility Wins

An appeals court gives plan sponsors immediate deductibility for deferred compensation compensation plan contributions.


The public fund giant weighs into a competitive California market with a new program supported by State Street Bank.

TIFF Makes It’s Pick

The poooled fund sponsor for foundations picks AMT as it prepares to launch its first family of funds.

Reading the Game

Pension asset consulting is a business in transition. As plan sponsors' needs change, the generalist consultants that serve them are refocusing to meet the challenge.

Benefits Consultants Move In

Consultants from the liability side of pension practice are arguing for, and getting, a bigger role in the asset allocation process.

Selling The Orient

US plan sponsors are being steered, cajoled, and exhorted to invest in Asia's emerging economies. The enticements are clear, the risks less so.

The Weight Falls

The SEC is cracking down on public companies that do not comply with FAS 87. For some, the change can mean the difference between overfunding and underfunding.

Your Own Backyard

Local investments used to be an invitation for trouble to most pension sponsors. But now that political and other pressures favor them, some plans are taking a second look.

GM’s Latest Model

GM is testing ERISA restrictions with a plan to reduce its underfunded pension liability through infusion of E shares. But do not expect the idea to fly with other pension sponsors.

Back On The Buyout Trail

A slew of new LBO funds are attracting pension money. But the new buyout market is very different today from its high-flying 1980s predecessor.

Sale-Leasebacks Come of Age

A modest form of real estate-linked investment is coming into its own as an asset class.

Big Blue’s Pension Blues

IBM's decision to slash in-house pension management highlights the movement to reassess costs outside the core business.

Picking Up The Pieces

Pension schemes of the late Robert Maxwell's companies are living hand-to-mouth. Can a UK government bailout be far off?

“Prudent Person” Comes to Canada

Some $41 billion of federally regulated pensions have broader investment parameters since Canada adopted the "prudent person" principle last summer

Redesigning For Success

How a Texas engineering firm redesigned its 401(k), adding new and customized fund options, and persuaded participants to go beyond GICs.

Waiting On The Dollar

Tennessee's retirement system runs its currency overlay program in-house. The results have been mostly a wash, but the program's manager expects that to change.

Prognosis Uncertain

Two court decisions send mixed signals as to whether ERISA preempts states from slapping hospital rate-setting schemes on self-insured benefits plans.

Still Squeezed After All These Years

Treasury auction reforms have created a more efficient, automated market. But most pension investors still find the environment less than friendly.

A New Deal From Custodians

Treasury auction reforms have created a more efficient, automated market. But most pension investors still find the environment less than friendly.

Schwan’s Way

Public fund boards are tightening oversight of executive directors and their staffs. Washington's decision not to automatically renew Basil Schwan's contract is the latest example.