ESG -- the letters stand for environmental, social, and governance -- is an investment strategy whereby investors examine criteria within these three categories in addition to traditional financial measures. ESG
ESG — the letters stand for environmental, social, and governance — is an investment strategy whereby investors examine criteria within these three categories in addition to traditional financial measures. ESG is different from ethical investing or values-based investing, as ESG investors actively choose companies because of their positive ESG attributes, as opposed to excluding certain industries or companies because of their ESG liabilities.
Some argue ESG investing can help reduce risk. They find high-ESG characteristics associated with lower costs of capital, higher quality profitability, and less volatile stock prices. But ESG disclosures are largely voluntary, lack standardization and are not subject to regulatory oversight or audits. Also, others raise concerns plan fiduciaries could be sacrificing investment returns to fulfill social/political policy goals ESG may reflect.
However, a survey by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) in November found 46 percent of institutional investors surveyed cited the need to meet their fiduciary duty as the key driver for adopting ESG principles. SSGA’s report on their survey findings therefore stressed that “[d]espite the mix of drivers pushing and pulling investors to or from ESG investing, it has clearly reached a tipping point where institutional investors cannot afford to ignore it — either for the risk that it may pose or, perhaps even more compellingly, the opportunities it presents.”
To better understand the complex issues surrounding ESG investing, join Leigh Snell, NCTR’s Director of Federal Relations; Suzanne Smetana, manager of SSGA’s global ESG Investment Strategy & Research efforts; and Ian Lanoff, head of Groom Law’s Public Plan Practice Group. Rounding out the panel will be an NCTR member system representative to discuss how, in practical terms, they have approached the challenges presented by this investment approach.
Registration is limited, be sure to register today to join in on the discussion.
The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act” (aka the SECURE Act) became law on December 20, 2019, when President Trump signed Congress' year-end spending package. It has been
The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act” (aka the SECURE Act) became law on December 20, 2019, when President Trump signed Congress’ year-end spending package. It has been called the most comprehensive piece of retirement legislation in more than a decade and is primarily intended to increase access to private sector employer-sponsored retirement plans and provide other enhancements to retirement savings in the private sector.
However, there also are some significant provisions about which governmental plan sponsors and administrators must be aware, some of which could require legislative action. Given that 46 state legislatures will convene this year, and as of last week, almost half of them have already begun their legislative sessions, it is imperative NCTR’s member systems quickly understand what changes in their statutes and regulations – not to mention their educational materials – might need to be made. Importantly, there are operational changes which went into effect on January 1, 2020.
Leigh Snell, NCTR’s Director of Federal Relations, will be interviewing Audra Ferguson-Allen and Rob Gauss, both partners with Ice Miller LLP. They will explain key provisions of the SECURE Act which may affect defined benefit and defined contribution governmental plans, including:
• Modification to Required Minimum Distribution Rules
• Repeal of Maximum Age for Traditional IRA Contributions
• Plan Loans
• Portability of Lifetime Income Options
• Treatment of Custodial Accounts on Termination of Section 403(b) Plans
• Withdrawals for Individuals in the Case of Birth or Adoption
• Treatment of Difficulty of Care Payments as Compensation
• Fiduciary Safe Harbor for Selection of Lifetime Income Provider
• Changes to In-Service Distribution Rules
• Plan Amendment Deadlines
To learn about these changes, as well as ask your own questions about the impact of the new law, be sure to REGISTER for this important educational opportunity offered only to NCTR members.
The Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) has proposed a new version of its controversial proposal requiring the calculation and disclosure of an investment risk “defeasement” measure whenever an actuary performs a
The Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) has proposed a new version of its controversial proposal requiring the calculation and disclosure of an investment risk “defeasement” measure whenever an actuary performs a funding valuation. Referred to as a “solvency value,” the new number was designed to represent an estimate of the cost, as of the valuation date, to defease all liabilities accrued under the plan in the marketplace.
The requirement remains. But it has been renamed the “Low-Default-Risk Obligation Measure,” and greater flexibility provided regarding what risk-free measures may be used to determine it. But do the proposed changes amount to a significant revision of the proposal? Do they still present the same concerns for governmental plans as the original 2018 proposal did?
Finally, is this major change a “done deal?”
These are important questions, and the ultimate answers to them will be very significant to the public pension community going forward. Therefore, be sure to register for NCTR’s Members-only webinar on the latest proposed revisions to ASOP 4, to be held Thursday, March 19, at 3:00 PM ET. Join Leigh Snell. NCTR’s Director of Federal Relations, as he seeks answers from his expert panelists:
• Paul Angelo, Senior Vice President and Actuary, Segal Consulting
• David Driscoll, Principal and Consulting Actuary, Buck
• Larry Langer, Principal and Consulting Actuary. CavMac Consulting
• Brian Murphy, Senior Consultant, GRS
Governmental pension plans are vigorously reacting to the impact of COVID-19, protecting the safety of system members and employees while ensuring continuity of their operations in the face of stay-at-home
Governmental pension plans are vigorously reacting to the impact of COVID-19, protecting the safety of system members and employees while ensuring continuity of their operations in the face of stay-at-home orders affecting an estimated 90 percent of the country. At the same time, markets have been on a rollercoaster ride, with Moody’s Investors Service warning in March they thought U.S. public plans were on track, at that time. to experience an average investment loss of as much as 21 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30.
State and local governments are projected to experience lower revenues, and those reductions could be significant, while their costs associated with providing healthcare and other emergency services are draining plan sponsors’ coffers. Employers’ ability to pay their pension contributions, let alone afford higher costs, could be strained.
ow are public pension plans dealing with the current market volatility? Were they prepared? Are significantly higher unfunded liabilities a certainty, and how will they – and the overall impact of 2020 — be dealt with actuarially? Finally, what did the last financial crisis a decade ago teach us? Are there lessons learned, or is the current situation too different to make valid comparisons?
For answers to these and other important questions public plans should be thinking about now, be sure to join Leigh Snell, NCTR’s Director of Federal Relations, on Thursday, April 16, at 3:00 PM ET, when he will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on public pension funding with his special guests:
- Kristen Doyle, Partner, Head of Public Funds, Aon
- Bill Hallmark, Consulting Actuary, Cheiron
- Keith Brainard, Research Director, NASRA
Register now, as attendance is limited, and this will certainly be a popular and important webinar that you will not want to miss.
The world has changed in such a short period of time. The dire situation in which we find ourselves is driving a need for change in employee and retiree healthcare
The world has changed in such a short period of time. The dire situation in which we find ourselves is driving a need for change in employee and retiree healthcare delivery. When it comes to wide-scale population health, appropriately and competently communicating with employees and program members has never been more important.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided a list of those at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This includes men and women aged 65 years and older, individuals who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions, specifically poorly or unmanaged issues. How can these individuals obtain a better understanding of some of the ways they can impact their own health? And what are the tools patients and their healthcare providers can use to facilitate this, such as genetics, which can provide insight into the right medicines before they are needed?
For a discussion of the implications for employees and teacher retirement plans, please join Leigh Snell, NCTR’s Director of Federal Relations, for a members-only webinar, “New Healthcare Delivery Paradigms During COVID-19 and Beyond,” on Thursday, April 23 at 3 PM/ET.
Webinar panelists include:
- Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, MS, Chief Science Officer at Coriell Life Sciences, who will be discussing implementation and early insights of genetics and public healthcare utilization.
- Jay Wohlgemuth, MD, who is the Chief Medical Officer & SVP, R&D, Medical and Population Health with Quest Diagnostics, who will discuss the factors that will be driving change in employee and retiree healthcare delivery in the post-pandemic world.
- Gary Harbin, Executive Secretary of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky, who will explain their medication risk management program, driven by genetic testing and administered by Coriell, which has helped the system to dramatically improve retirees’ health, reduce adverse drug reactions, and lower overall costs.
It is imperative that we do everything we can to ensure our own health and wellness, alleviate suffering, and save lives. We can start by ensuring the effective and efficient management of medication and medical issues. You will not want to miss this discussion! Be sure to register quickly, as this event registration is limited.
REGISTER TODAY! Background With everyday life upended by the coronavirus for the foreseeable future, the commercial real estate industry is shifting on a daily basis. Efforts to mitigate the spread of
With everyday life upended by the coronavirus for the foreseeable future, the commercial real estate industry is shifting on a daily basis. Efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing and shelter in place orders, have created a cashflow crunch for businesses impacted by shutdowns. REITs and real estate that house the global economy have not been immune, as patterns of life have changed for residents, customers, workers, patients, and travelers.
Commercial real estate is the third largest asset class in the United States and has been a staple within the investment portfolios of public pension plans for decades. With more than 87 million Americans invested in REITs through their retirement funds and other investment funds, it’s important to understand how REITs are positioned in the current market.
For a discussion on the macro outlook for the economy and the impact of COVID-19 on commercial real estate and REITs, please join Leigh Snell, NCTR’s Director of Federal Relations for a member’s only webinar on Wednesday, April 29 at 3 PM/ET. Webinar panelists include Meredith Despins, Senior Vice President of Investment Affairs, Nareit; and John Worth, Executive Vice President of Research & Investor Outreach, Nareit.
- How REITs are positioned for the current market, including a review of differences across property sectors; valuations; and how the current market may provide opportunity for long-term investors
- How many REITs are helping their communities and tenants during this crisis—through launching relief funds, food drives, assisting tenants affected by COVID-19, and more
- Nareit as a resource to help inform and educate system staff and trustees on commercial real estate and REITs in pension and retirement portfolios
- www.pensionsandrealestate.com — an interactive tool designed specifically for public pension board trustees to support their knowledge of how investing in 21st century commercial real estate, including REITs can help manage risk and build portfolio value
REGISTER NOW! As more governors begin to consider the easing of shut-down orders and the gradual re-opening of the economy, what are public pension plans considering? Will telecommuting continue? Will
As more governors begin to consider the easing of shut-down orders and the gradual re-opening of the economy, what are public pension plans considering? Will telecommuting continue? Will buildings be re-opened to the public? How will office configurations have to change? What will the “new normal” look like?
To learn more about what other NCTR member systems are considering as this process gradually unfolds, be sure to join Leigh Snell, NCTR’s Director of Federal Relations, on Thursday, May 7, 2020, at 3 PM/ET as he discusses the challenges that lie ahead, and how systems are planning to address them. His guests will include:
- Tracy Guerin, Director of the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems
- Patricia Reilly, Executive Director, New York City Teachers’ Retirement System
- Buster Evans, Executive Director, Teachers Retirement System of Georgia
Whether your state was at the forefront of the pandemic; has been particularly hard hit; or has more recently shut down, you will not want to miss this discussion. Attendance is limited, so be sure to register now.
REGISTER NOW! The COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on not only the way in which NCTR member retirement systems do business, but on our Commercial Associates, as well.
The COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on not only the way in which NCTR member retirement systems do business, but on our Commercial Associates, as well. Pursuant to state stay-at-home orders that at one point applied to an estimated 90 percent of the country, many businesses have sent non-essential employees home to work. While most companies already had business continuity plans in place, they may not have fully addressed the fast-moving and unknown variables of a global pandemic, such as widespread quarantines and added travel restrictions.
How have NCTR’s corporate partners responded? How have the systems with whom they work reacted? Finally, as attempts to re-open the economy begin, what are their plans going forward?
For answers to these and other important questions concerning the “new normal” for NCTR’s Commercial Associates, be sure to join Leigh Snell, NCTR’s Director of Federal Relations, as he discusses the challenges that lie ahead and the plans to address them.
Panelists will include:
- Dyice Ellis-Beckham, Invesco
- Dimitri Stathopoulos, Nuveen
- Michael Bowman, Capital Group
- Bill Pacula, Baillie Gifford
You will not want to miss this important perspective of what to look forward to post-pandemic. Be sure to register today!
Presented in affiliation with the UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education at the Haas School of Business July 20–22, 2020 Note: *Sessions will last one to 1.5 hours. Start time will accommodate all time zones. Location:
Presented in affiliation with the UC Berkeley Center for Executive Education at the Haas School of Business
July 20–22, 2020
Note: *Sessions will last one to 1.5 hours. Start time will accommodate all time zones.
Registration Rates: REDUCED!
- $550 per attendee
All registered attendees will have access to recorded sessions for up to 30 days after the workshop.
july 20 (Monday) - 22 (Wednesday)
Claremont Club & Spa, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA 94705