Towers Watson & Co. Class A Earnings Call Insights: Pension Liability and Benefits Business

Towers Watson & Co. Class A (NYSE:TW) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Pension Liability

Unidentified Analyst: I had a question on – you’re looking at the pension liability and how that changed Q-on-Q? We thought that might actually come down a little bit further, given how some of the assets have performed and the increase in discount rates. I was wondering if you can shed any more light on that.

Roger F. Millay – VP and CFO: Well, I mean, it came down quite a bit and so we did have good asset performance and the discount rate is up. I guess, I can’t say much more than where we landed reflects those changes. The other thing I will say is that the balance of funding overall for the plans has also driven up the asset side of balance sheet and so that reflects one of the changes in other assets. So, perhaps that’s a part of – in that mix a part of what’s not – you’re not seeing relative to what you hoped for.

Unidentified Analyst: Also relating to (A&D) and related expense the change in related expense relating to the increase in discount rate. Is that going to have any impact on the ’14 margins?

Roger F. Millay – VP and CFO: Well, it will drive pension expense down for fiscal ’14 relative to ’13. And it is not enough to drive order of magnitude change in the margins but that is a benefit that we have going into the year.

John J. Haley – Chairman and CEO: And that can be offset by reevaluation of our expected return on investment.

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