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FYE Distribution

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*gleefully rubbing palms together* Doesn’t take much to get this hobbyist moving to the edge of his chair: 2008 annual statements for companies with fiscal years ending on or near September 30 are starting to come out!

Although clearly swamped by the volume of data for companies with a calendar fiscal year, 9/30 FYE pension data is in a virtual tie with 6/30 FYE data for second place in terms of share of the total pension picture. Looking at defined benefit pension plan sponsors among S&P500 companies as of 11/18/2008, for the pension numbers basing shares on amounts as of the close of the 2007 fiscal years –

percentage of s&p500 pension sponsorship
fye count pbo contrib cost
jan 2.5 1.4 2.1 1.9
feb 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.2
mar 0.8 0.4 0.8 0.9
apr 1.1 0.3 0.5 0.5
may 1.4 1.2 2.0 1.8
jun 4.9 1.8 3.7 3.6
jul 0.8 0.2 0.1 0.2
aug 0.8 0.1 0.2 0.2
sep 4.4 2.0 4.0 3.4
oct 1.6 1.6 1.9 1.2
nov 1.6 0.4 0.8 1.3
dec 79.6 90.2 83.7 84.8

And whereas by contrast 1/31 FYE data more closely reflects the 12/31 FYE data for the preceding year, frequently 9/30 FYE data provides an early indicator of what we can expect from forthcoming 12/31 FYE data. Indeed, until GAAP was recently amended to repeal SFAS87’s 3-month measurement date rule, many pension plans of companies with 12/31 FYE had been measuring their pension plans as of 9/30. This year, market turmoil during October and November (not to mention what we might face in December) will distance 9/30 FYE results from what we’ll see on 12/31 more than usual, but publication of these 9/30 financial statements still provides an early glimpse of this year’s pension headaches.

I’ll have some numbers to report come Thanksgiving weekend!



(Remember, as I’ve previously disclaimed, posts such as this represent efforts of my favorite pastime. My formal work does not involve any of this, and none of it represents any position or comment that should in any way be attributed to my employer. Likewise, as always, it represents general personal impressions and should not be treated or used as formal professional advice.)

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Written by macheide

20 November 2008 at 7:03 pm

Posted in άctuary


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