25 01, 2021

ESG influencing company strategy, increasing oil market vulnerability

2021-01-25T12:33:46-08:00January 25th, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: |

Environmental, social and governance factors are continuing to influence company strategy, financing and operating environments in 2021, according to a new report by Fitch Ratings Inc. It found financial institutions will likely continue to enhance ESG due diligence and exclusionary policies to cover a broader set of ESG issues and entities, as the quality and quantity of ESG data is improved by increasing reporting requirements and harmonization of standards. In addition, a growing interest in sustainability is sparking debate [...]

21 01, 2021

Multiemployer pension plans could soon see relief

2021-01-21T13:55:48-08:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Multiemployer Plans|Tags: |

Legislation to help struggling multiemployer pension funds is to be introduced Thursday in the House and could be headed for passage if bundled with a COVID-19 relief measure now before Congress. The proposal also calls for some funding relief for single employer plans through extended amortization periods and pension interest rate smoothing changes. The proposed Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 is based on similar multiemployer pension reform legislation proposed in the last session of Congress as part [...]

21 01, 2021

Biden team to review Labor Department ESG rule

2021-01-21T13:53:40-08:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , |

The Biden administration will review a recent Department of Labor rule stipulating that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in "non-pecuniary" vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk. In his first few hours in office Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed a flurry of executive orders, including one titled "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis." In the order, Mr. Biden directed all executive departments and agencies "to immediately review and, [...]

20 01, 2021

Labor Department names new ERISA Advisory Council members

2021-01-20T11:18:16-08:00January 20th, 2021|Categories: ERISA|Tags: , |

The Department of Labor on Tuesday appointed five members to its ERISA Advisory Council. It also announced that Glenn Butash will remain chairman of the 15-member council in 2021, a position he's held since July, and James Haubrock will serve as vice chairman. Mr. Butash is managing counsel for U.S. compensation and benefits at Nokia Corp., where he provides legal advice in connection with the design and operation of large, complex defined benefit, defined contribution and welfare benefit plans. [...]

19 01, 2021

Measuring the Economic Impact of DB Pension Expenditures

2021-01-19T16:16:16-08:00January 19th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

Economic gains attributable to defined benefit (DB) pensions in the U.S. are substantial. Retiree spending of pension benefits in 2018 generated $1.3 trillion in total economic output, supporting nearly seven million jobs across the nation. Pension spending also added nearly $192 billion to government coffers at the federal, state and local levels. Pensionomics 2021: Measuring the Economic Impact of Defined Benefit Pension Expenditures calculates the national economic impacts of U.S pension plans, as well as the impact of state [...]

7 01, 2021

Canadian DB pension plans entering 2021 in good financial shape

2021-01-07T15:20:54-08:00January 7th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

The aggregate funded ratio for Canadian pension plans in the S&P/TSX composite index increased from 90.8 per cent to 91.2 per cent during the past 12 months, according to Aon’s pension risk tracker. Aon found the funded status deficit decreased by $200 million, which was driven by asset increases of $18.7 billion and offset by year-to-date liability increases of $18.5 billion. Pension assets returned 9.9 per cent over 2020 and ended the fourth quarter up 3.9 per cent. The year-end, [...]

6 01, 2021

Essential workers face major Covid-19 risk because of outdated safety rules

2021-01-06T14:26:27-08:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , |

The TUC Tuesday called on the government to urgently update workplace safety rules to protect essential workers and those who can’t work from home from Covid-19. Since the rules were published in March 2020, the scientific understanding of how the virus spreads has changed. And the UK is now battling a strain that is far more easily transmitted. Yet the rules have not been fully updated – and the union body says that this is putting workers at risk. [...]

6 01, 2021

Private-Sector DB Funded Status Held Steady in 2020

2021-01-06T13:44:38-08:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By some measures, corporate pension plans’ fortunes improved in 2020; by others, they did not. A new analysis reports that for private-sector DB plans’ funded status, 2020 was a wash. Willis Towers Watson reports that pension plan assets among the plans it studied increased by $80 billion. Drilling down, they estimate that: overall investment returns averaged 12.9%; domestic large capitalization equities grew 18%, while domestic small/mid-capitalization equities realized gains of 20%; aggregate bonds saw gains of 8%; long corporate [...]

6 01, 2021

Canadian DB plans bouncing back after stock rally

2021-01-06T13:42:33-08:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

A rally on the stock market in the fourth quarter helped boost the strength of Canadian defined benefit pension plans to end 2020, according to a new report by Mercer Canada. The consulting firm said its pension health index, which represents the solvency ratio of a hypothetical DB plan, rose to 114 per cent at the end of December from 107 per cent at the end of September. Mercer said in the fourth quarter the funded positions of DB [...]

19 12, 2020

Two Pro-ESG Investing Bills Introduced in House

2020-12-19T08:40:38-08:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , , |

Several high-profile Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced bills aimed at promoting the acceptance and use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments by individuals and institutions. The lawmakers are Representatives Andy Levin, D-Michigan, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP); Brendan Boyle, D-Pennsylvania, member of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, member of the House Financial Services [...]

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