With just 13% of credit unions offering their employees defined-benefit plans, is a shift underway that could potentially open up the window for employers to increase participation?

Pentegra Retirement Services, a White Plains, N.Y.-based provider of retirement plans, is optimistic that the time is ripe to reconsider defined-benefit plans. For one, historically low rates, which cause plan liabilities to increase every time they drop, appear to have nearly hit bottom and are poised to now begin rising as soon as the Federal Reserve suspends the accommodative support of growth through an expansionary monetary policy.

Defined-benefit plans were also hit hard by a 30-year bull market in bonds, the decade-long stagnation in the equity markets and the lack of viable options to extend duration for pension investment managers all exhibit signs of changing for the better, said Rich Rausser, senior vice president of client services at Pentegra.

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