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Rates shown above are based on a 67-year old choosing a single life annuity with a 10-year guarantee period or a joint life annuity with a 20 year guarantee period.
stable value funds and their close cousins, guaranteed investment contracts, together accounted for 21.3 percent of the assets in such plans in September ...The stable value funds in 401(k) plans are generally a pool of short-term bonds or other debt-market investments protected by an insurance contract known as a wrapper.... The underlying investments are generally corporate bonds, which yield more than government bonds but are also at a greater risk for loss of principal. He said Treasury bonds were a more secure long-term choice than stable value funds, which may be subject “to the law of unintended consequences."...Like other stable value funds in 401(k) plans, [the Trust Advisors Stable Value Plus fund] was not a mutual fund but a collective trust.
TIAA Traditional is a guaranteed insurance contract and not an investment for federal securities law purposes.
Stable value investment options may be offered by investment managers, trust companies, or insurance companies in various structures, such as separately managed accounts, commingled funds or guaranteed insurance accounts. Sometimes a stable value investment option will be managed by a plan sponsor. While stable value investment options may be managed or structured in a variety of ways, the important similarity is the use of stable value investment contracts, issued by banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions, which convey to the investment option the ability to carry certain assets at book value.
[Stable value as an] investing option has disappeared for individuals [in 2005] because of questions raised by the Securities and Exchange Commission about how to value the funds, although no formal ruling against them has been made.... Stable value funds have been available for many years, and remain available today-although on a much more limited basis-in some 401(k) plans and defined benefit pension plans maintained by employers. These investments come under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Labor, which has strict, but somewhat different regulations, from the SEC. The SEC's questions affect investments by individuals in IRAs ... Scudder launched the first stable value IRA fund in 1997, offering the funds as Scudder Preservation Plus Income and Scudder Preservation Plus. Others were offered by PBGH, Gartmore Morley, Oppenheimer and other mutual fund managers. But the SEC began raising questions about how to determine the daily valuation of funds with insurance wrappers, which managers had been pricing at book value. The wrapper agreement, which is what made the stable value fund what it was, was also the part that was raising questions at the SEC. The SEC, which initially approved the funds, will not comment on the situation other than to say that there are no stable value funds now registered with the SEC, although there are some nonregistered ones in existence, says John Nester, an SEC spokesman.
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