Capitol Hill Briefing: Important New Research Findings Indicate a "Rising Tide" of Contributions Facing Defined Benefit Pensions

Oct. 11, 2011
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room SD–430
2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

This Capitol Hill briefing is jointly sponsored by the American Academy of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries.

This October 11 Capitol Hill briefing will present new research from the actuarial profession that illustrates a "rising tide" of funding challenges facing the private defined benefit pension system, an important part of the "three-legged stool" of retirement security. Understanding the full effect of the rising level of contributions has important implications for plan sponsors, beneficiaries, and policymakers.

Retirement security has been a topic of ever-increasing focus on Capitol Hill. A combination of factors—including continued plan underfunding, the low-growth economy, the slow recovery of investment returns following the 2008 market downturn, and the sunset of funding relief that was passed in the aftermath of the recession—has set the stage for many sponsors of private defined benefit plans to face a rising tide of required contributions in the years ahead.

Come to this October 11 Capitol Hill briefing to gain insights into the aggregate system-wide effect of these projected contribution requirements.

Find out about:

  • The projected aggregate private sector pension contribution requirements over the next decade
  • How these projected contribution requirements compare to the requirements of the last decade and how plan sponsors in aggregate have been funding their defined benefit plans
  • How changes in economic conditions affect the costs of providing defined benefit pensions
  • What the implications of these contributions are for plan sponsors, beneficiaries, and the policy community right now—and over the next decade—and possible steps that can be taken to address these challenges
  • How additional research could answer questions surrounding the sources and ongoing effects of this looming funding challenge


Donald E. Fuerst, MAAA, FSA, EA 
Senior Pension Fellow 
American Academy of Actuaries

Ethan E. Kra, MAAA, FSA, EA
Chairperson, Pension Practice Council 
American Academy of Actuaries

Joseph Silvestri, MAAA, FSA, EA
Retirement Research Actuary
Society of Actuaries

Thomas S. Terry, MAAA, FSA, EA 
Chairperson, Rapid Research Modeling Oversight Group 
Society of Actuaries


Policymakers and regulators are encouraged to attend. Academy members and the public also are welcome. Space is limited—reserve your seat today for this Oct. 11 Capitol Hill briefing.


Please contact Gabriel Swee at the Academy (, 202-223-8196) with questions.