Thought Leadership

Penbridge publishes thought leadership papers on topics relevant to the pension de-risking industry.

“Check, Please!”: The Importance of Administration in the Selection of an Annuity Provider

July 2016

This white paper provides a comprehensive framework for how fiduciaries should examine administrative considerations in the Information Age. It explains why a review of insurers’ administrative capabilities and practices is crucial for a fiduciary selecting an annuity provider, how technological changes (e.g., cybersecurity threats) have made it even more critical, and what key aspects of insurers’ administration a fiduciary should focus on.

Survey of Assets-In-Kind Practices of PRT Providers

April 2016

Summary results and key observations from Penbridge’s 2016 survey addressing insurers’ assets-in-kind (AIK) transfer practices. 100% of insurers responded to the request to participate. It is important for plan sponsors and their advisors to understand the practices of insurers related to AIK transfer arrangements for annuity buyouts so that they can prepare the asset portfolio and carry out the transaction with optimal efficiency.

Pension De-Risking Poised to Accelerate Further

February 2016

This article by Deloitte Consulting and Penbridge Advisors examines the regulatory changes, market considerations and other factors that could affect strategies to de-risk pension plans. As a pension plan’s risk profile evolves over time, sponsors need to understand and evaluate the full range of pension de-risking alternatives. As frequent as de-risking activity has been, there are several factors suggesting that organizations may take even more action in 2016 to reduce balance sheet exposure to pension liabilities.

Pension De-Risking – Where Do We Stand Now?

September 2015

In this webinar, Penbridge founder Steve Keating and Deloitte Consulting’s Jason Gratson discuss what plan sponsors should be considering when analyzing pension de-risking, current PRT industry trends, and the impact of recent actions by the IRS on pension de-risking. The webinar looks at recent market and regulatory changes, what’s next, and what the capacity is in the market for future transactions.
Replay Webinar

Getting a Handle on Defined Benefit Plan Expenses

July 2015

In this webinar, Penbridge’s founders Steve Keating and Robert Goldbloom share insights from the inaugural Penbridge Defined Benefit Expense Survey. Replay the webinar to learn how the survey process can help you to identify the full range of plan expenses, how much plan sponsors typically pay for each plan expense category and how a Benchmarks Report can identify areas where you can look for better efficiency in the operation of your DB plan.

Defined Benefit Expense Survey

May 2015

Summary results of the first industrywide survey to capture all the costs associated with maintaining a U.S. corporate defined benefit (DB) plan. The survey is intended to give plan sponsors access to unbiased and comparable expense data to help them make informed decisions involving the costs of their DB plans. Set up as a rolling survey, participating sponsors receive, at no charge, a customized DB Expense Benchmarks Report. To view a sample Benchmarks Report, click here. To participate in the survey, click here.

Preparing Assets for Pension Risk Transfer

September 2013

Plan sponsors preparing for PRT transactions need to position their assets to go through the process efficiently and with minimal asset liability management risk and cost. The first half of this paper presents the essentials of asset positioning for plans that are preparing for termination. The second half examines the growing practice of assets-in-kind transfers, drawing upon the results of a Penbridge survey of US insurers.

Private Sector Pension De-Risking and Participant Protections

June 2013

Penbridge Principal Stephen Keating’s testimony at hearing before the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council on “Private Sector Pension De-Risking and Participants Protections”. Testimony addressed four areas: (1) Recent Trends, (2) Pension De-risking Alternatives, (3) Plan Sponsor Requirements and Limitations – Lumps Sum Offers and Annuity Purchases and (4) Unique Settlor / Fiduciary Issues Involved in Making “Risk Transfer” Decisions.

The Fiduciary’s Role in the Termination of Single Employer Defined Benefit Plans: A Practical Guide

June 2012

While de-risking of defined benefit plans takes many forms, the most comprehensive set of actions involves termination of the plan and transfer of its liabilities to an insurer by purchase of an annuity buyout contract. This article by Ivins, Phillips & Barker and Penbridge Advisors sets forth in Part I a checklist of plan sponsor and fiduciary actions. Part II expands on the fiduciary’s risks and responsibilities in bringing the termination to a close.

The Case for Pension Risk Transfer

March 2012

As US corporate plan sponsors continue to find less appeal and more challenges with their defined benefit plans, they will explore more ways to reduce or eliminate the DB plan risks they hold. And as they find the barriers to transaction dropping, the upshot will be a huge increase in PRT deals.

Penbridge is conducting the first industrywide survey to capture all the costs associated with maintaining a U.S. corporate defined benefit (DB) plan. It provides plan sponsors an efficient means to identify, collect and benchmark their DB plan expenses. Plan sponsors that participate, receive, at no charge, a customized Penbridge DB Expense Benchmarks Report.