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.( )
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.( )
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.( )
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.( )
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.( )
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.( )
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.( )
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.