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What Happened in May 2017?

Market Returns

Interest Rates

  • The discount rate on the Citigroup Pension Liability Index (CPLI) fell from 4.04% to 3.92%.
  • The yield curve flattened as short US Treasury rates rose and rates 3 years and longer fell.

General Economy

  • The May US unemployment rate fell to 4.3% from 4.4%.
  • Non-farm payroll employment rose by 138,000.
  • Manufacturing activity rose in May with the ISM Composite Index rising from 54.8 in April to 54.9 in May.
  • CPI for April was 2.2% year-over-year while core inflation (excluding food and energy) was 1.9%.
  • The second estimate of Q1 2017 real GDP showed the economy grew by 1.2%, while the advanced estimate showed that the economy grew by 0.7%.

Penbridge Pension Risk Transfer Index

About Penbridge Advisors

Penbridge Advisors provides pension plans with unbiased information and advisory services on the U.S. pension risk transfer (PRT) market and products. Penbridge provides pension plans with free access to the industry’s only database covering PRT products and providers. The firm possesses the expertise to compare the financial implications of plan termination versus plan maintenance, and to inform the process and timing of potential PRT transactions. For more information on Penbridge, please visit or call 203-564-1529.

About Penbridge PRT Index

Sponsored by Penbridge Advisors, the Penbridge PRT Index represents the premium that an insurance provider would charge for a buy-out of a “typical” defined benefit plan. It is intended to illustrate relatively advantageous or disadvantageous times for a corporate plan sponsor to purchase annuities from insurance providers.

Ryan Labs Index

The return on assets in a pension trust is clearly a key driver of the funded status of a pension plan. However, pension liability values can also fluctuate significantly with changes in market interest rates. In essence, pension liabilities carry their own market returns. Plan sponsors should therefore focus on the net impact of changes in assets and liabilities on a plan’s funded status. The following table provides the estimated return on pension plan liabilities as of the end of last month as calculated by Ryan Labs, Inc. (used with permission):

Ryan Labs, Inc. Asset Management specializes in managing custom fixed income portfolios for pension plans and institutional clients. For more information on Ryan Labs, please visit or call 800-321-2301.


Key Interest Rates for DB Plans

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Upcoming Regulatory Due Dates

  • June 30 (DC): Deadline for processing corrective distributions to HCEs for plans with an eligible automatic contribution arrangement (EACA) which failed the ADP/ACP test for 2016 (to avoid a 10% excise tax on the plan sponsor).
  • July 14 (DB): Second quarterly contribution deadline for 2017 plan year (calendar year plans).
  • July 28 (DB/DC): Deadline for sending the 2016 Summary of Material Modifications (SMM) for calendar year plans, if applicable.
  • August 1 (DB/DC): Deadline for filing the Application for Extension of Time (2.5 months) to file the 2016 Annual Return/Report (Form 5558).
  • August 1 (DB/DC): Deadline for filing the 2016 Annual Return/Report (Form 5500) if automatic extension was not requested via Form 5558.
  • August 1 (DB/DC): Deadline for filing the 2016 Form 8955-SSA if automatic extension was not requested via Form 5558.
  • August 1 (DB): Due date for sending annual funding notices to participants for small plans (generally, fewer than 100 participants) showing the funded status for the 2014-2016 plan years. (Due date is extended if Form 5500 deadline is extended.)
  • August 1 (DB/DC): Deadline for notifying terminated vested participants (who were/will be reported on the 2016 Form 8955-SSA) of their vested benefits. Due date is extended if Form 5500 deadline is extended.
  • August 1 (DC): Due date for annual benefit statement for non-participant directed account plans for the 2016 plan year.