Asset Owners

Retirement distribution decisions among DC participants

Published by: Vanguard

The majority of retirement-age DC plan participants leave their plan within five years of separation from service. Participants are more likely to remain when plans permit flexible distributions, having implications for target-date fund design and retirement income programs.

Lengthening the Investment Time Horizon

Published by: MFS Investment Management

Investors are increasingly making decisions based on short-term market trends due to the role of incentives, the media, financial reporting, and other decision-making biases. But there are opportunities for differentiated performance when investors hold securities for longer periods.

The Changing Equation: Building for Retirement in a Low Return World

Published by: BlackRock

What happens when longer retirements meet lower returns? DC plan participants need action and guidance to prepare. Explore BlackRock’s The Changing Equation: Building for Retirement in a Low Return World.

Vanguard Life-Cycle Investing Model: A framework for building target-date portfolios

Published by: Vanguard

New tools from Vanguard can help determine if plan participants could benefit from a glide path designed for unique participant populations. Vanguard explains the inner workings of their proprietary model for glide path construction.

A powerful combination: Target-date funds and managed accounts

Published by: Vanguard

Cynthia Pagliaro and Stephen Utkus, Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, explain how a combination of target-date funds and managed accounts can work with all your plan participants.

Beyond Labels: Advancing Your Approach to Target-Date Evaluation and Selection

Published by: American Century Investments

Overview of four common labels to better compare TDFs – and advance the manager selection process.

Borrowing to Fund Pensions Could Enhance Shareholder Value

Published by: Prudential Retirement

In today’s low interest rate environment, sponsors of underfunded pension plans can borrow at attractive rates and contribute the proceeds to their pension plan, thereby reducing or even eliminating their pension deficit, while having the potential to create shareholder value.

Central Banks of the World: Yield to the Markets!

Published by: Prudential Fixed Income

Are overzealous monetary policies contributing to market volatility? Are the aggressive policies of the BoJ and ECB inflicting more harm than good? We also consider where policies are headed next and why this should support the bond markets.

DC Plan of the Future: DB Principles for the DC Generation

Published by: BNY Mellon

The age of DB may be over but many of its principles can be used to improve DC plans. BNY Mellon has revealing insights into how DC plan sponsors are drawing on DB best practices to increase efficiency.

Defined Contribution Balances: Finding the Right Solution for Participant Management

Published by: Northern Trust

As DC plans increasingly replace defined benefit plans, responsibility for retirement readiness has shifted to employees. Auto-enrollment and auto-escalation help, but how else can we prepare participants to shoulder responsibility for their retirement outcomes?

Fooled by Conviction: The pitfalls of “high conviction” investing

Published by: S&P Dow Jones Indices

Active management advocates say managers should hold portfolios of just the securities in which they have the highest confidence. But growing “high conviction” investing is likely to increase risk, make manager skill harder to detect, raise asset owners’ costs, and reduce the number of outperforming funds.

Key Fault Lines in the Global Earthquake Zone

Published by: Prudential Fixed Income

Slow economic growth. Mountains of debt. Central bank buying. Negative bond yields. Rising inequality. Find out how the macroeconomic and policy failures of developed economies led to rising political risk, how these risks interact, and the implications for fixed income strategies.

LDI Implementation—Managing Surplus Volatility by Reducing the Drawdown Risk of Growth Assets

Published by: QMA

The funded statuses of defined benefit plans continue to struggle. QMA's US Market Participation Strategy—with its asymmetrical return profile and low correlation to other growth assets—provides an effective solution for draw-down risk while still seeking long term returns.

Mapping the Boundaries Between Education and Advice Under the New Fiduciary Rule

Published by: PNC Retirement Solutions®

The Department of Labor set a clear framework for defining when communications to retirement plan participants and IRA owners constitute advice. Knowing where the line is drawn between communications that trigger fiduciary status and those that do not will be an important element in managing your fiduciary risk exposure.

Passive and Active Fulfillment Choices
Target Date Funds: Combining the Best of Active and Passive

Published by: QMA

QMA discusses the characteristics of different types of active equity managers and examines the advantages of combining a quant approach with indexing. We also consider the implications in target date funds and how fulfillment choices impact retirement savings and income.

The Ease of Automation and Guaranteed Lifetime Income

Published by: Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Retirement commissioned a survey that asked plan participants their thoughts on plan design features. This whitepaper takes an in-depth look at the findings and suggests ways for plan sponsors to better meet participant needs and expectations.

Rising interest rates: Weighing risk for TDF retirees

Published by: Vanguard

Vanguard discusses how a higher interest rate environment might impact investors who rely on target-date funds in retirement. The authors argue that a hike in interest rates can be positive for retirees, particularly if it coincides with economic growth.

Engagement for Satisfaction: A retirement advisor’s guide to showing value

Published by: Wells Fargo Asset Management

Looking for the key to show your value with sponsors? The Engagement for Satisfaction guide reveals ways to start conversations with sponsors about plan and participant insights. A sample participant education opportunity: 68% of workers over 40 regret not saving earlier.

The Global Credit Cycle: What Inning Are We In?

Published by: Prudential Fixed Income

All credit cycles have almost eerie similarities as well as distinct nuances. In this paper, we describe the unique characteristics of the current credit cycle and highlight how various industries are moving through the cycle at different paces.

China's debt problem may be different from what you think

Published by: BNP Paribas Investment Partners

Debt arises when an economy transforms its savings into investment. Some observers argue that China’s debt-to-GDP ratio, estimated at close to 250% in 2015, has reached a point that could soon trigger a systemic collapse. This paper goes back to the basics to assess the situation.

DC Goes Global: 10 Best Practices for Global DC Plans

Published by: State Street Global Advisors

State Street Global Advisors partnered with their multinational clients to provide 10 best practices for Global DC Plans. These guidelines help establish a strong framework for efficiently managing DC plans for a globalized workforce.

Expanding the Case for Stable Value - What drives decision-makers to embrace stable value

Published by: Prudential Retirement

What drives decision-makers to adopt stable value funds? That is the question at the heart of Prudential Retirement’s latest research paper, Expanding the Case for Stable Value: New Insights into What Drives Decision-Makers to Embrace Stable Value Funds.

Long-Termism Versus Short-Termism: Time for the Pendulum to Shift?

Published by: S&P Dow Jones Indices

Corporate sentiment, investor holding data, and secular trends highlight the short-term pressures companies face. A coalition of large-asset owners has realized the need for change and has put forth its recommendations on how the asset owner community can adopt long-termism principles.

Preqin Special Report: Investor Analyst- See How Investment Strategies Measure Up

Published by: Preqin

Gain valuable insight into the portfolio construction, alternative asset allocation evaluation and investment activities of institutional investors based on the results of a recent Preqin survey. This report also features case studies comparing different investors utilizing Preqin's industry-leading data.

Reducing Pension Risk: The Five Myths Holding Back Plan Sponsors

Published by: Prudential Retirement

This paper demonstrates that conventional wisdom about de-risking DB plans is often false. Invalidating the "five myths" can help broaden the range of options that DB plan sponsors are willing to evaluate when formulating their long-term pension strategies.

The Resurgence of Non-Agency Residential Mortgages and RMBS

Published by: Angel Oak Capital Advisors, LLC

The 2007-2008 housing crisis led to the near disappearance of non-agency mortgage origination. Almost a decade after the crisis, however, non-agency lending and securitizations are making a comeback with much more stringent underwriting criteria and present a unique investment opportunity.

Retirement: From the mind of the TDF investor

Published by: Vanguard

In this third of three papers, Vanguard experts present key findings from Vanguard's target-date fund investor survey.

Key to Sponsor Satisfaction: A retirement advisor's guide to unlocking sponsor secrets

Published by: Wells Fargo Asset Management

Looking for the key to unlock sponsor satisfaction? The Formulas for Satisfaction guide reveals what sponsors expect from top retirement advisors and provides actions you can take to improve your relationships.

Pensions With Purpose: Meeting the Retirement Challenge

Published by: State Street Corporation

“Pensions with Purpose: Meeting the Retirement Challenge,” is based on a global survey of 400 pension funds and interviews with more than 40 industry experts. The study reveals that pension fund leaders are building internal expertise while reinforcing risk and governance frameworks for long-term strength and agility.

Are Central Banks Losing Their Mojo?

Published by: Prudential Fixed Income

In recent weeks, the effectiveness of monetary policy has been questioned. This paper highlights the circumstances that have led up to the change in market perception and discusses the need for a comprehensive policy response to mitigate systemic risks.

Choices to Address Foreign Currency Exposure

Published by: Fischer Francis Trees & Watts, a BNP Paribas Investment Partner

Institutional portfolios typically hold a significant allocation of foreign currency denominated assets. Left unmanaged, this currency exposure receives little or no risk premium and adds unwanted volatility. This paper outlines best-practice solutions to be considered when addressing currency exposures.

Introducing an Innovative Approach to Retirement Investing

Published by: S&P Dow Jones Indices

As the ongoing shift from DB to DC continues, individuals are challenged with the burdens of long term investing and judiciously transitioning to income generation. Learn how the S&P STRIDE Indices offer an innovative approach to these significant hurdles.

Not All Quality is Created Equal

Published by: Jensen Investment Management

At Jensen, we define quality somewhat differently. We invite you to read the article below, as we explore the pros and cons of our unique definition of quality and how it relates to the broader market landscape through various market cycles.

Preparing for Pension Risk Transfer

Published by: Prudential Retirement

Pension risk transfer activity in the U.S. exceeded $14B in 2015. Given the increasing number of buy-out transactions, and the volatility and increasing costs associated with DB plans, plan sponsors are finding their boards of directors eager to understand how to execute a buy-out solution.

Risk Tolerance: From the mind of the TDF investor

Published by: Vanguard

In this second of three papers, Vanguard experts present key findings from Vanguard's target-date fund investor survey.

The Illusion of Corporate Bond Diversification in a Balanced Portfolio

Published by: Community Capital Management, Inc.

Correlations between equity and corporate fixed income indices have historically been highest during times of negative equity returns, thus reducing the benefits of diversification. The paper discusses why taxable municipals can be a great alternative to corporate bonds in diversified portfolios.

Product comprehension: From the mind of the TDF investor

Published by: Vanguard

In this first of three papers, Vanguard experts present key findings from Vanguard's target-date fund investor survey.

Absolute Return Fixed Income: What It Is, How It Works, and Who It Is For

Published by: Fischer Francis Trees & Watts, a BNP Paribas Investment Partner

Investors are becoming more familiar with absolute return but with only the broadest overall definition. It’s not easy to identify what the product is or the problems it may solve. This paper defines absolute return and explains the characteristics to be aware of when evaluating the asset class.

The Pension Risk Transfer Market at $260 Billion: Innovation, Globalization and Growth

Published by: Prudential Retirement

The international pension risk transfer marketplace is experiencing remarkable growth, with more than $260 billion in transactions completed since 2007. Hundreds of companies have transferred pension risk, with at least 40 pension funds executing transactions over $1 billion.

Women versus men in DC plans

Published by: Vanguard

Learn the factors driving a sizeable difference in 401(k) wealth accumulation between men and women.

Archived White Papers by Topic

All white papers posted were created by the listed authors who are solely responsible for the research, finding and all materials contained therein. Pensions & Investments has not verified or edited the materials (other than for length and style) and does not necessarily agree or disagree with the analysis and positions expressed by the authors. Reference to any company, product or service does not imply recommendation or sponsorship by Pensions & Investments.

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For more information on submitting a white paper, please contact Richard Scanlon at rscanlon@pionline.com or 212-210-0157.