By Gina Mitchell
First quarter 2013 data from SVIA’s Quarterly Characteristics Survey continues to demonstrate why plan participants are relying upon stable value. The quarterly survey, which covers 23 stable value managers, found assets under management of $452 billion, which was $5 billion more than the previous quarter.
Crediting rates continued to reflect the low-interest rate environment. The survey reported average crediting rates of 2.40 percent for the first quarter 2013, which was down slightly from 2.48 percent in fourth quarter 2012.
However, stable value continues to offer a significant premium over money market funds. iMoneyNet reported money market funds average returns for the first quarter 2013 were 0.17 percent and 0.25 percent for the fourth quarter 2012.
The other two data points captured in the survey showed an upward trend. Portfolio duration increased from 2.81 years in 2012’s fourth quarter to 2.95 years in 2013’s first quarter. Credit quality increased as well, rising to 8.55 (8 being AA and 9 being AA+) from 8.14 in the prior quarter.