Tags: corporate | pension | shortfall | gap | retirement

Goldman: 200 Biggest Pension Plans Underfunded by $240 Billion

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Thursday, 11 April 2019 03:29 PM

The 200 biggest pension plans in the S&P 500 were underfunded by $240 billion at the end of 2018. Sounds like a big number but it’s actually an improvement from the $382 billion gap in 2016.

Funding levels have jumped in recent years due to incentives from tax law changes and a record equity bull market. S&P 500 companies contributed about $63 billion to their defined-benefit plans in 2017, the highest level since 2003, according to a 2018 report from Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Nonetheless, Goldman warns that many corporate pensions may have once again missed the chance to lock in gains by shifting from stocks to bonds.

In a new report, titled Groundhog Day after the 1993 comedy film in which Bill Murray’s character is forced to re-live the same day over and over again, Goldman said companies over the last decade have failed to “de-risk” when opportunities arose.

That may be happening now, it said. The outcome could be that funding levels fall if the market turns. And that, in turn, will force corporations to once again make “additional subsequent contributions” to their pensions.

“Some pensions just weren’t able to execute on a de-risking strategy,” said Mike Moran, the firm’s pension strategist. “They’re not set up to be nimble or quick.”

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The 200 biggest pension plans in the S&P 500 were underfunded by $240 billion at the end of 2018.
corporate, pension, shortfall, gap, retirement
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2019-29-11
Thursday, 11 April 2019 03:29 PM
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