June 13, 2012 08:30 ET

SEI's Pension Lifecycle Meter Shows Almost Half of Corporate Pensions Remain Open to New Hires

Biannual Update Shows Current Stages of U.S. Corporate Pensions

OAKS, PA--(Marketwire - Jun 13, 2012) - SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) today released the results of its third Pension Lifecycle Meter, a biannual survey representing the current plan design stages of more than 150 U.S. corporate defined benefit plans. Often considered a declining employee benefit, the survey showed that almost half (47 percent) of pension plans are still active and open to new hires. Furthermore, nearly three quarters (71 percent) of all plan participants are still accruing benefits, while the remaining plans (29 percent) have frozen accruals.

As depicted in SEI's Pension Lifecycle Meter, below are the current plan design stages as of May 2012:

  • 47 percent are "active" in that the plan is active and open to new hires
  • 24 percent are "closed" in that the plan is closed to new entrants, but participants are still accruing benefits
  • 28 percent are "frozen" in that the plan is closed to new entrants, participants are no longer accruing benefits, but the termination process has not started
  • 1 percent are "terminating" in that the plan is closed, accruals are frozen, and the termination process is underway

Plan sponsors who indicated that their pension plans are currently closed, frozen, or terminating, were asked how recently they had made a design change to their plans. Only 12 percent indicated that they had made a change within the last 12 months. Three-quarters (75 percent) said that they had made a change more than two years ago. Of this group, one-third (33 percent) have plans larger than $500 million in assets. This may be an indication that many plan sponsors made a change to their plan as a response to the market crash of 2008, but have since refrained from making any additional changes.

"While many organizations continue to provide this retirement benefit for their employees, the current challenge is financing these programs," said Jon Waite, Director, Investment Management Advice and Chief Actuary, SEI's Institutional Group. "Funded status levels are down due to low interest rates directly impacting corporate balance sheets. As a result, many plan sponsors are implementing de-risking strategies to help protect gains in funded status moving forward."

For a copy of SEI's Pension Lifecycle Meter graphic, please email Laura Edling at or click here.

About SEI's Institutional Group
SEI's Institutional Group is the first and largest global provider of outsourced fiduciary management investment services. The company began offering these services in 1992 and today acts as a fiduciary manager to approximately 450 retirement, nonprofit and healthcare clients in six different countries. Through a flexible model designed to help our clients achieve financial goals, we provide asset allocation advice and modeling, investment management, risk monitoring and stress testing, active liability-focused investing and integrated goals-based reporting. For more information visit:

About SEI
SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, fund processing, and investment management business outsourcing solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of March 31, 2012, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $428 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $189 billion in assets under management and $239 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit

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