|MEDTRONIC PLC filed this Form 11-K on 10/26/2017|
Investment Valuation and Investment Income Recognition
The Plan’s investments are stated at fair value, except for fully benefit-responsive investment contracts within the Interest Income Fund, which are reported at contract value. Fair value is the amount that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. See Notes 3 and 4 for discussion of fair value measurements.
Interest income is recorded as earned on an accrual basis. Dividend income is recorded on the ex-dividend date. Realized gains and losses related to sales of investments are recorded on a trade-date basis, and unrealized gains and losses are recorded based on the fair values at the reporting date.
The Master Trust, through its investment in the Interest Income Fund, invests in fully benefit-responsive investment contracts, including both traditional guaranteed investment contracts (GICs) and synthetic GICs. The Interest Income Fund is credited with earnings from these contracts and charged for participant withdrawals and administrative expenses. The GIC issuer is contractually obligated to repay the principal and a specified interest rate that is guaranteed to the Plan. There are no reserves against contract value for credit risk of the contract issuer or otherwise. The crediting interest rate is based on a formula agreed upon with the issuer, but may not be less than 0%. Such interest rates are generally reviewed on a quarterly basis for resetting.
The terms of fully benefit-responsive investment contracts generally provide for settlement of payments upon maturity of the contract, termination of the contract, or total liquidation of the covered investments. However, fully benefit-responsive contracts also provide guarantees from the issuers to redeem at contract value all bona fide employee benefit related payment requests made by the Plan, if Plan cash levels are insufficient to meet those requests. Generally, benefit payments requested by the Plan under this “benefit responsive” provision will be made pro-rata, based on the percentage of investments covered by each issuer.
A synthetic GIC is a wrap contract paired with an underlying investment or investments, usually a portfolio, owned by the Plan, of high-quality, intermediate-term fixed income securities. The Plan purchases a wrapper contract from a financial services institution. A synthetic GIC credits a stated interest rate for a specified period of time. Investment gains and losses from the underlying investments in the synthetic GIC are amortized over the expected duration through the calculation of the interest rate applicable to the Plan on a prospective basis. The crediting rate is primarily based on the current yield-to-maturity of the covered investments, plus or minus amortization of the difference between the market value and contract value of the covered investments over the duration of the covered investments at the time of computation. The crediting rate is impacted by the change in the annual effective yield to maturity of the underlying securities, and is affected by the differential between the contract value and the market value of the covered investments. Depending on the change in duration from reset period to reset period, the magnitude of the impact to the crediting rate of the contract to market difference is heightened or lessened. The crediting rate is adjusted periodically usually either monthly or quarterly, but in no event is the crediting rate less than 0%.
Synthetic investment contracts generally impose conditions on both the Plan and the issuer. If an event of default occurs and is not cured, the non-defaulting party may terminate the contract. The following may cause the Plan to be in default: a breach of material obligation under the contract; a material misrepresentation; or a material amendment to the Plan agreement. The issuer may be in default if it breaches a material obligation under the investment contract; makes a material misrepresentation; has a decline in its long term credit rating below a threshold set forth in the contract; is acquired or reorganized and the successor issuer does not satisfy the investment or credit guidelines applicable to issuers. If, in the event of default of an issuer, the Plan was unable to obtain a replacement investment contract, withdrawing plans may experience losses if the value of the Plan’s assets no longer covered by the contract are below contract value. The Plan may seek to add additional issuers over time to diversify the Plan’s exposure to such risk, but there is no assurance the Plan may be able to do so. The combination of the default of an issuer and an inability to obtain a replacement agreement could render the Plan unable to achieve its objective of maintaining a stable contract value.