By: Gina Mitchell
Plan sponsors and 401(k) investors want to know the “numbers” to determine how their stable value fund stands up to other stable value funds and other investments options. SVIA has just completed work on two major surveys, which are a benefit of Association membership, that provide pertinent stable value statistics.
SVIA’s Stable Value Funds’ Quarterly Characteristics Survey tracks 25 major stable value managers on key data points such as assets under management, crediting rates, portfolio duration, portfolio credit quality and market to contract ratios over 10 quarters (December 2008 through March 2011). The Assets Under Management & Crediting Rates Chart demonstrates that stable value funds have kept their promise of capital preservation and consistent, positive returns that exceed money market funds throughout the financial crisis and continued recession.
SVIA’s 15th Annual Stable Value Fund Investment and Policy Survey covers almost $540 billion in stable value assets through December 31, 2010. This survey looks at stable value funds from the three major management sectors: individually managed funds, pooled funds, and life insurance funds.
As the Stable Value Assets Under Management & Crediting Rates Chart illustrates, stable value assets have grown every year since 2005
except two. However, much of the variation in assets under management can be attributed to changes in survey participation. For example, in 2008 a very large manager began its participation in the survey. Conversely, in 2010 a few managers did not participate in the survey that had done so in previous years.
Further, the plans that offer stable value funds are predominantly defined contribution plans (92.34%), with 401(k) plans representing the majority of these assets at 62.02%.
The 15th Annual Survey found that the weighted average duration for all three management segments increased to four years in 2010, mainly due to growth in the life full service and a lengthening of the life full service’s duration to 5.42 as explained in the Modified Duration Chart.
The Contract Allocation Chart illustrates another important data point that the Annual Survey provides SVIA members. The chart shows how the three major management sectors have dealt with capacity concerns by reallocating Cash/Short Term Instruments, GICs, General Account Products, and Wrapped Assets.
To learn more about these two important surveys, please visit the Survey Section in Members’ Only at www.stablevalue.org.