Strategy Spotlight

PIMCO Flexible Municipal Income Fund: Innovating in Pursuit of Higher After‑Tax Yield

For investors seeking tax-efficient high income and capital appreciation, MuniFlex offers a compelling new option.

In an environment where attractive yields have become elusive and effective tax rates, for some, are on the rise, many investors are looking for ways to enhance the after-tax yield of their portfolios. PIMCO Flexible Municipal Income Fund (“MuniFlex”) was designed to address this twofold need by leveraging a novel structure: It is one of the first interval funds built to focus on the municipal bond universe. The interval fund structure was originally developed to provide individual investors with access to less liquid, often private assets. In this case, it enables PIMCO to pursue high current income in a tax-efficient manner by exploiting the inherent structural illiquidity in the municipal markets.

In this Q&A, portfolio managers David Hammer and Rachel Betton discuss how investors may benefit from a flexible, tax-efficient approach that targets opportunities across the municipal credit spectrum – and beyond.

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The Author

David Hammer

Head of Municipal Bond Portfolio Management

Rachel Betton

Portfolio Manager, Municipal Bonds

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Disclosures

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the fund carefully before investing. This and other information is contained in the fund's prospectus, which may be obtained by contacting your investment professional or PIMCO representative or by visiting www.pimco.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest.

The fund is a newly organized, unlisted closed-end “interval fund.” Limited liquidity is expected to be provided to shareholders only through the fund’s quarterly offers to repurchase between 5% to 25% (expected to be 10%) of its outstanding common shares at net asset value. There is no secondary market for the fund’s shares and none is expected to develop. Investors should consider shares of the fund to be an illiquid investment.

Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objectives or structure its investment portfolio as anticipated. The Fund is non-diversified, which means that it may concentrate its assets in a smaller number of issuers than a diversified fund.

A word about risk: Investing in municipal bonds involves the risks of investing in debt securities generally and certain other risks. Investors will, at times, incur a tax liability. Income from municipal bonds may be subject to state and local taxes and at times the alternative minimum tax. Investing in the bond market is subject to risks, including market, interest rate, issuer, credit, inflation risk, and liquidity risk. The value of most bonds and bond strategies are impacted by changes in interest rates. Bonds and bond strategies with longer durations tend to be more sensitive and volatile than those with shorter durations; bond prices generally fall as interest rates rise, and the current low interest rate environment increases this risk. Current reductions in bond counterparty capacity may contribute to decreased market liquidity and increased price volatility. Bond investments may be worth more or less than the original cost when redeemed. Equities may decline in value due to both real and perceived general market, economic, and industry conditions. Preferred securities are subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure and therefore, will be subject to greater credit risk than those debt instruments. Also, preferred securities generally involve an absence of voting rights with respect to the issuing company, and preferred securities called or redeemed prior to a specified date may negatively impact the return of the security held by an account or portfolio. Derivatives may involve certain costs and risks such as liquidity, interest rate, market, credit, management and the risk that a position could not be closed when most advantageous. Investing in derivatives could lose more than the amount invested. The use of leverage may cause a portfolio to liquidate positions when it may not be advantageous to do so to satisfy its obligations or to meet segregation requirements. Leverage, including borrowing, may cause a portfolio to be more volatile than if the portfolio had not been leveraged.

An investment in an interval fund is not suitable for all investors. Unlike typical closed-end funds an interval fund’s shares are not typically listed on a stock exchange. Although interval funds provide limited liquidity to investors by offering to repurchase a limited amount of shares on a periodic basis, investors should consider shares of the Fund to be an illiquid investment. The Fund anticipates that no secondary market will develop for its shares. Investments in interval funds are therefore subject to liquidity risk as an investor may not be able to sell the shares at an advantageous time or price and there is no guarantee that an investor will be able to tender all of their requested Fund shares in a periodic repurchase offer.

The portfolio structure is subject to change without notice and the sectors discussed may not be representative of current or future allocations. Statements concerning financial market trends or portfolio strategies are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. There is no guarantee that these investment strategies will work under all market conditions, and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest for the long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Outlook and strategies are subject to change without notice. No representation is being made that any account, product, or strategy will or is likely to achieve profits, losses, or results similar to those shown.

Investments made by a Fund and the results achieved by a Fund are not expected to be the same as those made by any other PIMCO-advised Fund, including those with a similar name, investment objective or policies. A new or smaller Fund’s performance may not represent how the Fund is expected to or may perform in the long-term. New Funds have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate and new and smaller Funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies. A Fund may be forced to sell a comparatively large portion of its portfolio to meet significant shareholder redemptions for cash, or hold a comparatively large portion of its portfolio in cash due to significant share purchases for cash, in each case when the Fund otherwise would not seek to do so, which may adversely affect performance.

PIMCO does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal counsel for specific tax or legal questions and concerns. The discussion herein is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Any tax statements contained herein are not intended or written to be used, and cannot be relied upon or used for the purpose of avoiding penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Service or state and local tax authorities. Individuals should consult their own legal and tax counsel as to matters discussed herein and before entering into any estate planning, trust, investment, retirement, or insurance arrangement.

It is important to note that differences exist between the Fund’s daily internal accounting records, the fund’s financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP, and recordkeeping practices under income tax regulations. It is possible that the Fund may not issue a Section 19 Notice in situations where the Fund’s financial statements prepared later and in accordance with U.S. GAAP or the final tax character of those distributions might later report that the sources of those distributions included capital gains and/or a return of capital.

The Fund’s distribution rate may be affected by numerous factors, including, but not limited to, changes in realized and projected market returns, Fund performance, and other factors. There can be no assurance that a change in market conditions or other factors will not result in a change in the Fund distribution rate at a future time.

Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this material may constitute forward-looking statements. These statements may involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including the performance of financial markets, the investment performance of PIMCO’s sponsored investment products, general economic conditions, future acquisitions, competitive conditions and government regulations, including changes in tax laws. Investors should carefully consider such factors. Further, such forward-looking statements speak only on the date at which such statements are made. PIMCO undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statement.

This material contains the opinions of the manager and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material has been distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. PIMCO is a trademark of Allianz Asset Management of America L.P. in the United States and throughout the world. ©2018, PIMCO.

PIMCO Investments LLC, distributor, 1633 Broadway, New York, NY, 10019 is a company of PIMCO.

CMR2018-1108-364193

Monthly Municipal Market Update, October 2021
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