Pension News

In a news release, the Academy said it recognizes the importance of the issues addressed by newly introduced Congressional legislation and offered its public policy resources to legislators, regulators and other stakeholders at the federal, state and local levels to assist them in understanding the nature of the risks related to the financial soundness of state and local government public pension benefit plans. (April 19, 2013)
Academy President Cecil Bykerk responds with a letter to the editors of The Wall Street Journal to an April 10 op-ed, “The Pension Rate-of-Return Fantasy,” regarding pension funding and expected rates of return. (April 12, 2013)
The Pension Committee released an issue brief recommending changes that will allow private sector defined benefit plans to raise their normal retirement age above 65 to better align with Social Security. Read the news release. (March 7, 2013)
Read about the Academy’s pension policy activities in this issue. (February 21, 2013)
The Pension Committee sent comments to the Internal Revenue Service regarding its recent guidance related to notice requirements under section 101(j) of ERISA for funding-related benefit limitations in single-employer defined benefit pension plans. (February 5, 2013)
The Academy wrote a letter to The New York Times in response to an op-ed that questioned whether longevity risk was posing new problems for Social Security and if actuaries had taken this into account. In the letter, the Academy said Social Security actuaries assess longevity rates as well as other factors regularly. The larger issue, however, is that the president and Congress should address now Social Security’s long-term solvency. (January 9, 2013)
The Pension Committee submitted comments to the Actuarial Standards Board responding to its proposed revisions to ASOP No. 25, Credibility Procedures. The comments focused on the exposure draft’s expanded scope of ASOP 25 and raises concerns regarding the standard’s application to pension practice. (December 28, 2012)
The Social Security Committee released an issue guide for the general public, policymakers, and the media to use as they evaluate Social Security reform proposals. This guide poses questions that should be asked when policymakers put forth specific proposals to change the Social Security system. (December 17, 2012)
The Social Security Committee updated its 2004 issue brief on means testing for Social Security. Means testing is one option to reform the Social Security program that would reduce or eliminate benefits for wealthy and/or high-income participants and beneficiaries as a means of reducing costs. (December 11, 2012)
The Social Security Committee held a webinar, Social Security: Actuarial Status and Assumptions, on Nov. 27 that attracted over 300 attendees. The webinar focused on the assumptions used to evaluate Social Security’s financial condition and provided an overview of the actuarial status of the program based on the 2012 Social Security Trustees Report. The audio of the presentation is available here. (November 27, 2012)
Gain an actuarial perspective on the 2012 Social Security Trustees Report and the assumptions used in determining Social Security projections. Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Steve Goss will be available to provide additional comments and answer questions. Learn more! (November 20, 2012)
The Public Plans Subcommittee sent comments to the California Actuarial Advisors Panel (CAAP) regarding its Discussion Draft, Version 9c, Model Actuarial Funding Policies and Practices (MAFPP) for Public Pension and OPEB Plans. (October 3, 2012)
The Pension Practice Council sent comments to Moody’s in response to its proposed adjustments to public pension data reported by US state and local governments. Moody’s requested comments after the publication of its report, Adjustments to US State and Local Government Reported Pension Data. (October 2, 2012)
The Pension Practice Council sent comments to the Pension Committee of the Actuarial Standards Board regarding its discussion draft, Assessment and Disclosure of Risk Associated with Pension Obligations, Plan Costs, and Plan Contributions. (October 1, 2012)
The Pension Accounting Committee provided comments to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) regarding its proposed Accounting Standards Update: Financial Instruments (Topic 825) – Disclosures about Liquidity Risk and Interest Rate Risk. (October 1, 2012)
The Pension Committee sent comments to the Internal Revenue Service in response to its proposed regulations concerning the prohibited payment option under single-employer defined benefit plans when a plan sponsor is in bankruptcy. (August 20, 2012)
The chairpersons of the Pension Committee, along with Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst, sent a letter to Treasury officials regarding the implementation of MAP-21 pension provisions. The letter expresses support for the urgent need to publish the 25-year average segment rates required under MAP-21. Attached to the letter is an outline of topics discussed by several Pension Committee members at a meeting with Treasury on July 23. (August 2, 2012)
The Pension Practice Council sent a letter to Senator Orrin Hatch commenting on a January report entitled “State and Local Government Defined Benefit Pension Plans: The Pension Debt Crisis that Threatens America.” The letter references the Pension Practice Council’s newly published issue brief that debunks the myth that an 80% funded ratio is the proper basis for determining whether a pension plan is financially or “actuarially” sound. (July 31, 2012)
The Pension Practice Council has published an issue brief on the 80 percent funded ratio myth. The issue brief de­bunks that myth and clarifies how actuaries view funding levels for pension plans and how the funded ratio relates to the “soundness” or the “health” of a pension plan or system. (July 31, 2012)
The Pension Committee submitted comments to the SOA on a new set of mortality tables and projection scales for the valuation of uninsured pension plans. (June 30, 2012)