2013 PYRAMIS US CORPORATE MID-MARKET PULSE POLL

2013 Pyramis Global Advisors US Corporate Mid-Market Pulse Poll

In September and October 2013, Pyramis Global Advisors surveyed executives from 166 mid-sized corporations to better understand the concerns, challenges and future intentions for their defined benefit plans. The pensions these executives represent, which range from $50 million to $500 million, cumulatively total more than $32 billion in assets under management. Among the key findings:

  • Defined benefit plans have been increasingly consuming more time and resources over the last few years; yet the majority of sponsors have between 1 – 3 employees dedicated to the pension
  • Today, roughly 60% of sponsors have closed or frozen DB plans; and more have designated this as their “end state”
  • Sponsors noted their biggest challenge as matching assets and liabilities and only 25% have a current LDI program in place; this LDI adoption is about half that of larger US corporate pensions
  • Outsourced CIO arrangements have been established by half of all surveyed sponsors which should help them de-risk and achieve their desired “end state”
  • However, one out of every four are “undecided” in their “end state” and many more are re-risking the portfolio which may ultimately conflict with long term plans once future intentions have been determined
WHAT IS THE DESIRED "END STATE" FOR YOUR DB PLAN?
INCREASED DEMANDS, EXTERNAL SUPPORT
Time Spent on DB Plan (Recent Trend)

  • Decreased; 8%
  • No change; 31%
  • Increased; 61%

Considered Using Outsourced CIO

  • No, we have not considered an outsourced arrangement; 43%
  • We have considered an outsourced arrangement but decided not to pursue further; 8%
  • Yes, we have entered into an outsourced arrangement; 49%

DESTINATION IS SET, PATH IS NOT
Top Three Investment Challenges

  • Matching Assets and Liabilities; 31%
  • Controlling total plan costs; 27%
  • Executing timely asset allocation decisions; 13%

De-Risking Intention and Triggers

  • No, intend to maintain (or increase) our current risk profile; 55%
  • We intend to de-risk but have not established triggers; 30%
  • Yes, we have a formal glidepath with established triggers in place; 15%

CONTACT US

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Insights

The Road to Uncertainty – Full Report

December 2013

US Corporate Mid-Market pension funds are facing challenging markets, increased regulatory demands and limited internal resources; constraining sponsors’ ability to address their greatest concerns (managing risk and the low-return environment) and underscoring the possible need for more targeted guidance from multi-asset-class investment managers and outsourced CIO providers.

US Corporate Mid-Market Pulse Poll – Fact Sheet

December 2013

The fact sheet captures respondent demographics as well as aggregate results to all questions in the survey.

2012 Pyramis Global Institutional Investor Survey Results

December 2012

The Pyramis global institutional investor survey regularly asks leading pension plan sponsors about the challenges they face and the opportunities they see to overcome them. This year’s survey findings show that while managers in both sectors have ambitious goals, corporate plan sponsors seek lower risk and cost, while those in the public sector are trying new approaches to increase return.

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