Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will report a bigger surplus than it did last year, David Strauss, executive director, told lawmakers yesterday. The agency reported a surplus of $869 million last year.
Mr. Strauss declined to tell the House Oversight Subcommittee the amount of the surplus - the second in the agency's 24 years - until March 23, when PBGC's annual report is released.
Reps. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., who spearheaded legislation simplifying pension rules and regulations in 1996, will introduce a bill this month to further cut regulatory red tape, Mr. Portman said at a hearing yesterday.
The legislation, dubbed "Pension Simplification II,'' is expected to eliminate or modify top-heavy rules that are especially cumbersome for small, family-owned businesses; raise the limit for SIMPLE 401(k) plans to $10,000, as it is for regular 401(k) plans; and lift caps restricting contributions for defined contribution plans to $30,000 or 25% of pay.
The Asian currency crisis has helped open the Japanese financial market to foreign financial firms, Robert C. Pozen, Fidelity Investments' chief executive, said today in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
The giant mutual fund company took in more business from Japanese defined benefit pension plans last year than in the previous 20 years the firm has had a presence there, he said.
``For the first time, you see Japanese firms coming to U.S. companies and asking them to manage money, not in eurocurrencies, but in Japanese equities,'' he said.
Fidelity will roll out new short, summary mutual fund prospectuses sometime this summer, Mr. Pozen said. Fidelity participated in an SEC pilot test of new profile prospectuses, Mr. Pozen said, so the company will be ready when the SEC's new rule on streamlined prospectuses becomes effective June 1.
He said the best use of these "profile'' prospectuses will be in the defined contribution plan market.
Parker Global Strategies will manage a $366 million Japanese retail fund. Hedge fund managers will run 75%; futures fund managers, 25%.
The fund, called Protection II, will pay a 2% dividend and offers a guarantee of principal at maturity, three years hence.
Virginia Reynolds Parker, president, said managers have been selected for both components, but their names aren't being released until all contracts are signed. Dean Witter Futures and Currency Management Inc. will select futures managers.
Ms. Parker said her firm is considering a U.S. version of the fund, which would target institutions and high-net-worth investors.