September 1996

Staying the Course

A 400-point-plus market downturn tested defined contribution investors' commitment to equities last summer. For the most part, they did not flinch.

Cost Consciousness

Cost increases at defined benefit plans-especially small ones-outpace those at defined contribution plans, study says. But the gap is narrowing.

Employees, or independent contractors?

Three IRS initiatives attempt to provide some relief for employers who face review of their workers' tax status. But the critics are not entirely pleased.

Paul Lipson

Federal Reserve Employee Benefits System

Going for the Goal

Linking money managers' pay to performance seems inherently logical and fair. But designing performance-based compensation contracts can be frustratingly complicated. No wonder plan sponsors have been slow to switch.

Washington Windfall

Generous congressional retirement benefits are turning former lawmakers into pension millionaires. Some want to change this. But will they create a true "citizen's Congress," or just a rich person's club?

Ottawa’s pension give-backs

In Canada, opposition parties are complaining that cutbacks and reforms enacted last year were not enough. Some have given up their pensions in protest.

The Rating Game

Public funds earn extra returns by selling credit enhancements, liquidity facilities

Funds of funds

Why managers expect pensions to buy their approach to hedge fund investing

Bargain Shoppers

As Japanese investors unload US real estate, pension plans look to snap it up

Seeing is believing

What on-site visits can reveal about prospective outsourcing providers

What’s new?

Start-ups favor 401(k)s, but spinoffs are sticking with defined benefit plans

Derivatives guidance

DoL letter emphasizes risk management, fiduciary education, stress testing

Risk matters

Using downside risk analysis to set plan options and help participants make choices

The Meaning of Risk

Under existing Securities and Exchange Commission rules, mutual funds are allowed to provide very general information about risk

New Ballgame

GASB will require government employers to prefund retiree health benefits

Watered down

How a measure to curb disability retirement abuse faded in Massachusetts

Beyond alliances

What consultant and master trustees hope to offer plan sponsors by merging

You are what you measure

In simpler days, it was enough for pension sponsors to measure annual return or compare that return with actuarial assumptions in order to demonstrate performance.

Arthur Dreves

Retired Sea Warfare Program, Control Officer, US Navy, 72