A Russell news release said the new product, which utilizes proprietary technology, enables corporate defined benefit pension plan managers to better understand the relationship between the assets and liabilities of their plans. The new tool also can forecast the impact of capital markets and corporate policy on the plan and it helps analyze the plan’s expected impact on the corporation, according to the company. Russell said it expects general availability of the product by mid-2005.
“With all of today’s challenges, pension plan managers need a clearer and more dynamic picture of the relationship between assets and liabilities in order to take a more strategic approach to asset allocation,” said Michael Hall, director, asset liability strategy, of Russell’s Research and Strategy Group, in the news release.
The product allows for exploration of specific scenarios to learn how regulatory rules and standards affect and interact with capital market returns, funding policies and interest rates, the announcement said. Model scenarios include estimated expenses, funding requirements and cash flows. Results are displayed using interactive graphs so plan sponsors can get real-time answers to “what if” questions about funded status, contribution requirements and balance sheet impact.
The announcement said that the product will be delivered via ClientLink, Russell’s institutional client intranet. Russell asserted that the web-based platform provides a number of benefits to clients including access flexibility, the convenience of network compatibility, a secure, password-protected environment and the ability to receive upgrades due to regulatory changes in a timely manner.