Pension News

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)
Academy Senior Pension Fellow Don Fuerst testified before the ERISA Advisory Council June 12 on issues related to retirement security and the risk of long-term disability. (June 12, 2012)
The Social Security Committee updated an issue brief examining the assumptions used to evaluate Social Security's financial condition.  The brief analyzes demographic and economic assumptions used by the federal government and outside experts.
(May 31, 2012)
The Social Security Committee published a new issue brief examining the significance of the Social Security trust funds from three perspectives: the Social Security system, a unified federal budget, and the whole economy.
(May 31, 2012)
The Social Security Committee updated its annual issue brief offering an actuarial perspective on the 2012 Social Security Trustees Report and outlined policy options for addressing the program's long-term financial challenges.
(May 31, 2012)
The Pension Committee submitted a comment letter to the Actuarial Standards Board responding to an exposure draft and suggesting modifications to proposed revisions of ASOP No. 4, Measuring Pension Obligations and Determining Pension Plan Costs or Contributions.  The Pension Finance Task Force also submitted a letter to the ASB responding to the exposure draft, as did the Joint Committee on Retiree Health whose letter focused on the interaction with retiree group benefits practice.
(May 31, 2012)
The Pension Committee submitted a comment letter to the Actuarial Standards Board responding to an exposure draft of ASOP No. 27, Selection of Economic Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations.  The letter addressed several provisions of the exposure draft, including scope, selection of reasonable assumptions, investment return assumptions, and measurement-specific conditions.  The Joint Committee on Retiree Health also submitted a letter, focusing on the interaction of the ASOP to retiree group benefits practice.
(May 31, 2012)
The Pension Committee submitted a comment letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) responding to proposed regulations for partial annuity distribution options under defined benefit (DB) pension plans, commenting specifically on the proposed structure of Section 417(e) exemptions, and transition issues.
(May 3, 2012)
The Pension Committee submitted a comment letter to the Internal Revenue Service responding to proposed regulations for longevity annuity contracts.  The letter commended the IRS and Treasury Department for focusing on the problem of longevity risk, and recommended modest changes to the proposed regulations to further enhance retirement security.
(May 3, 2012)
The Pension Practice Council submitted a letter to members of the House-Senate Conference Committee commenting on the pension funding stabilization provisions included in S. 1813 as passed by the Senate.  The PPC recommended that to the extent the conference committee chooses to include pension funding changes in the final legislation to create more stability in contributions for plan sponsors, this could be accomplished better by smoothing outputs (contribution requirements) rather than inputs (discount rates).
(May 2, 2012)
The Pension Practice Council published a new issue brief examining the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premium structure and current proposals to revise that structure.  The issue brief discusses and differentiates between two categories of costs faced by the PBGC: going-forward costs and legacy costs.
(April 26, 2012)
The Academy has published two guides to help voters better understand the long-term financial challenges facing Medicare and Social Security. Read what to ask candidates—and how to evaluate their answers—about proposals for reforming these programs. The guides are part of the Academy’s Campaign 2012 Toolkits. For more information on the release of the guides, click here.  (April 20, 2012)
The Pension Accounting Committee and Public Plans Subcommittee submitted a joint letter to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in response to GASB's Preliminary Views on Economic Condition Reporting: Financial Projections.  The letter addressed several of the questions posed to respondents in the Preliminary Views from an actuarial perspective with respect to pension and postretirement obligations.
(April 2, 2012)
The Academy’s Social Security Committee published a guide to analyzing Social Security reform proposals. Visit the Campaign 2012 Toolkit page for more information.
(March 27, 2012)
If you missed the March 7 webinar on lifetime income, you can download the slides for free or order a recording of the webinar for a small fee. Noel Abkemeier and Tonya Manning, co-chairpersons of the Academy’s Joint Lifetime Income Risk Task Force, provided an overview of the risks of inadequate lifetime income, current options to address the risks, and the range of policy solutions to help retirees better prepare for managing lifetime retirement needs. Tom Terry, chairperson of the Public Interest Committee, also announced new Academy initiatives underway to advance the discussions surrounding longevity risk.
(March 7, 2012)