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Controlling volatility top priority for pension sponsors

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Pension plan sponsors say their number one priority for 2010 is finding a way to control funded status volatility, according to a poll by SEI.

Nearly all (91 per cent) of poll respondents identified controlling volatility as a priority.

One third (33 per cent) of all respondents said this was an "extremely high" priority, by far the highest percentage to do so for any priority in the poll.

"As pension plans continue to negatively impact organisational finances, all of these strategies should be priorities this year, but successfully executing them will be a significant challenge," says Jon Waite, director, investment management advice and the chief actuary for SEI’s institutional group. "Now more than ever, the plan sponsors that can best leverage external expertise will stand to benefit the most in addressing these challenges."

While controlling the volatility of funded status is the highest priority, improving the plan’s funding level follows close behind. A significant majority (90 per cent) of respondents identified developing a strategy for improving the funded status as a priority in 2010, with more than two thirds (71 per cent) saying it was at least a "high" priority.

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