Human Resources

Stable Value Fund Information

What is a stable value fund and does Willamette's retirement plan offer one?

Willamette University provides for a Stable Value Fund investment within its retirement plan. As summarized by the non-profit Stable Value Investment Association (SVIA), "Stable Value Fund investments are managed with the objective of maintaining principle stability, providing liquidity at Contract Value for participant-initiated transactions, and generating a positive and reasonably stable rate of return." Stable Value funds are not mutual funds. They are investments that are comingled with insurance protection to provide a periodically stated guaranteed rate of return.

Under the Willamette University Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, the University has selected the New York Life Guaranteed Interest Account (NYLGIA) as the Stable Value option for the plan. The NYLGIA is backed by the general account of New York Life Insurance Company.  

As with most "Stable Value" funds, there can be limits to the ability to transfer monies out of the fund.  This fund does allow full transfers out of the fund and into other investments within the plan, with some limitations as to what kind of fund you can transfer to.  You cannot transfer assets out of the GIA fund and directly into a "competing fund" within the plan.  Examples of competing funds include Money Market funds and Short-Term Bond funds. The transferred assets must be held in a non-competing fund within the plan for at least 90 days before it can be transfered to a competing fund. It should be noted that these "competing fund" transfer restrictions do not apply to post-separation transfers/rollovers into other plans (or post 59 1/2 in-service transfers out of the plan).

A full outline of transfer limits is available upon request and is based on the contract established under the plan.   

Comparison of Stable Value and Money Market Funds

Willamette's retirement plan includes both a Stable Value Fund and a Money Market Fund as options for investment.  Many confuse these two very different investment choices.  Both are generally considered "lower risk" investments, however, they are quite different in how they deliver returns and the risks they take to provide returns.  Stable Value funds, because they are backed by insurance contracts, are very different in terms of risk, but generally provide for higher returns than Money Market Funds. 

Below you will find links to online articles that provide more information on the differences between these two common investment choices:

FinancialWeb 

Forbes