Prism

Prism examines the effect of changes in the assets and liabilities of a model single-employer, private sector defined benefit plan on its funded ratio over the four most recent quarters.

July 2016

  • Second Quarter 2016 Pension Plan Experience

    Pension liability growth outpaced asset growth threefold in the second quarter, leading pension funding levels to a new low for 2016. This issue examines reasons for the decline and provides insights into how to mitigate risk in your pension plan.

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May 2016

  • First Quarter 2016 Pension Plan Experience

    During the first quarter of 2016, the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism decreased by 4 percentage points: from 83 percent to 79 percent. This issue examines reasons for the change in funding level and provides insights into how to mitigate risk in your pension plan. 

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January 2016

  • Fourth Quarter 2015 Pension Plan Experience

    During the fourth quarter of 2015 (Q4 2015), the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism increased by 3 percentage points: from 82 percent to 85 percent. This increase was the result of a 3 percent asset increase and a 1 percent liability decrease during the quarter.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans’ assets, liabilities and funded ratios from the vantage point of both accounting and funding metrics.

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October 2015

  • Third Quarter 2015 Pension Plan Experience

    During the third quarter of 2015 (Q3 2015), the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism decreased by 5 percentage points: from 87 percent to 82 percent. This decrease was the result of a 4 percent asset decrease and a 2 percent liability increase during the quarter.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans’ assets, liabilities and funded ratios from the vantage point of both accounting and funding metrics.

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July 2015

  • Second Quarter 2015 Pension Plan Experience

    During the second quarter of 2015 (Q2 2015), the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism increased by 8 percentage points: from 79 percent to 87 percent. This increase was the result of a 10 percent liability decrease and flat investment performance during the quarter.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans’ assets, liabilities and funded ratios from the vantage point of both accounting and funding metrics.

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April 2015

  • First Quarter 2015 Pension Plan Experience

    During the first quarter of 2015 (Q1 2015), the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism decreased by 2 percentage points: from 81 percent to 79 percent. This decrease was the result of a 3 percent liability increase and flat investment performance during the quarter.

    The Q4 funding ratio in this issue of Prism was reset to incorporate the fact that many plan sponsors changed their mortality assumption at year-end to reflect improved longevity.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans’ assets, liabilities and funded ratios from the vantage point of both accounting and funding metrics.

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January 2015

  • Fourth Quarter 2014 Pension Plan Experience

    During the fourth quarter of 2014 (Q4 2014), the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism decreased by 3 percentage points: from 91 percent to 88 percent. This decrease was driven by a liability increase of 4 percent and an asset return of 1 percent.

    The Q4 change in the funded status of the model pension plan does not reflect new mortality assumptions, which typically would decrease the funded status by 6 to 8 percent.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans' assets, liabilities and funded ratios from the vantage point of both accounting and funding metrics.

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December 2014

  • Third Quarter 2014 Pension Plan Experience

    During Q3 2014, the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism decreased by 2 percentage points: from 93 percent to 91 percent. This decrease was driven by a negative asset return of 2 percent and liabilities that remained flat.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans' assets, liabilities and funded ratios from the vantage point of both accounting and funding metrics.

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July 2014

  • Second Quarter 2014 Pension Plan Experience

    During the second quarter of 2014, the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism increased by 1 percentage point: from 92 percent to 93 percent. This increase was driven by an asset return of 4 percent and a liability increase of 3 percent.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans' assets, liabilities and funded ratios both from the vantage point of accounting and funding metrics.

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May 2014

  • First Quarter 2014 Pension Plan Experience

    During the first quarter of 2014, the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism decreased by 3 percentage points: from 95 percent to 92 percent. This decrease was driven by an asset return of 2 percent and a liability increase of 5 percent.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans' assets, liabilities and funded ratios both from the vantage point of accounting and funding metrics.

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January 2014

  • Fourth Quarter 2013 Pension Plan Experience

    During the fourth quarter of 2013, the funded status of the model pension plan examined in each issue of Prism increased by 5 percentage points: from 93 percent to 98 percent. This increase was driven by an asset return of 5 percent and a liability decrease of 1 percent.

    Plan sponsors should examine changes in their own defined benefit plans' assets, liabilities and funded ratios both from the vantage point of accounting and funding metrics.

    Download PDF