EBRI and the Federal Reserve have switched to using Bankers Trust data on pension fund cash flows and asset holdings.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System previously used the Trust Universe Comparison Service data of Wilshire Associates, Santa Monica, Calif. Now, they're using the Independent Consultants Cooperative, whose data is calculated and compiled by Bankers Trust Co., New York.
The information supplements data from the Internal Revenue Service and Labor Department Form 5500 reports the Fed and EBRI use to track economic trends. Because the 5500 reports are on a four- to five-year time lag, Bankers Trust universe data will be used as current estimates until the 5500s are available.
The Federal Reserve and EBRI jointly develop data on assets in the pension system and the performance of pension investments. The Fed publishes this data in its Z.1 Flow of Funds report, which tracks economic trends; EBRI's Quarterly Pension Investment Report expands on the Fed's information by providing greater detail, according to Bankers Trust.
Dallas Salisbury, EBRI's president, said the organization changed providers because "the dramatic growth in 401(k) plans makes ICC a better fit now, because it provides what we need on other segments of the universe plus detail on 401(k) plans."
EBRI had been using TUCS data since 1982.
EBRI pays $1,000 a year for access to the ICC data. (Mr. Salisbury could not recall the fee paid for TUCS data.)
Eileen Fitzgerald, vice president, asset consulting with Bankers Trust, said "we want Bankers Trust to become the standard in the performance and risk management area. When organizations such as the Fed and EBRI use our data, it gives (us) a boost of confidence that they find the information comprehensive."
Steven Rembosky, vice president and product manager of Wilshire's TUCS, said the Fed/EBRI deal was "a nice feather in our cap," but losing the business had little financial implication.
Bankers Trust/ICC supplies the Fed and EBRI raw data on such things are market value of funds, net cash flow, asset allocation changes and other materials that can help the organization track these financial flows. As of June 30, the 15 members - 14 consultants and Bankers Trust - of the Independent Consultants Cooperative supplied information on 7,400 portfolios with more than $500 billion of assets, said Ms. Fitzgerald.
Mr. Rembosky said TUCS represents $830 billion of pension assets, as reported by banks that submit quarterly asset positions and rates of returns on investments of pension funds for which they are custodians. "From there, I create a universe of comparative returns," said Mr. Rembosky.
Bankers Trust is a contributor to both the ICC and TUCS comparative universes.