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Major Corporations Starting to De-risk Again in 2016

As funded status fall and PBGC premiums continue to rise, defined benefit plans are looking for ways to combat the exponential growing obligation costs. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which calls for a 25% increase in the fixed fee between 2016 and 2019 for plans sponsored by single employers, will only further bring this issue to the forefront as these fees are paid directly by the employer. After a lull, it appears that pension obligations of large plans are being transferred to insurers again. PPG Corp. is just one of the latest examples of this, as they transferred $1.6B on June 27th. The transfer will be split between MassMutual and MetLife, which follows the trend set forth at the end of 2015 by Philips Electronics North America Corp. to split transfers over $1.0B between multiple insurers. Chemtura Corp. also moved a portion of its pension plans to insurers during 2016. The company expects to transfer about $350M of liabilities owed to retirees with benefits less than $2000 per month.