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2012 Public Pension Funding Study

November 30, 2012 Comments off

2012 Public Pension Funding Study

Source: Milliman

The Milliman Public Pension Funding Study independently measures the aggregate funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans using basic actuarial principles and reported plan liabilities and assets. The aggregate accrued liability information provided has been determined on a uniform basis with respect to the interest rate assumption across all of the plans in the study. This uniform approach allows for an accurate picture of the overall funded status of these 100 pension plans based on an independent application of Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) standards of practice, actual investment portfolios, and current capital market assumptions. We are not aware of any other study that has taken this approach and we feel this is an important story that needs to be told.

During the past year, the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans (as measured by accrued liability) reported assets of $2.705 trillion and accrued liabilities of $3.600 trillion, for an aggregate underfunding of $0.895 trillion and an aggregate funded ratio of 75.1%. The asset values the plans use for reporting purposes reflect asset smoothing techniques, which are designed to minimize fluctuations in contribution amounts but may deviate significantly from market value. The liabilities the plans report may not reflect current views on future investment return levels. Using current market values of assets and current views on investment returns, these plans have assets of $2.513 trillion and accrued liabilities of $3.706 trillion, resulting in aggregate underfunding of $1.193 trillion and an aggregate funded ratio of 67.8%.

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Health Care Costs — 2011 Milliman Medical Index

May 30, 2011 Comments off

2011 Milliman Medical Index
Source: Milliman

The MMI includes an analysis of costs paid by the employer and costs paid by the employee. An increasing portion of the cost has been borne by the employee—in nine years, the total cost paid by the employee has also more than doubled. In 2002, the employee share of these costs was $3,634 and it now stands at $8,008.

Specific findings

  • Between 2010 and 2011, the MMI increased by $1,319 or 7.3%.
  • Employees’ share of the total cost is at an all-time high, having increased from 36.8% in the first year of the MMI (2005) to 39.7% in 2011
  • The annual rate of increase for the MMI is down 0.5% from 2010 to the lowest rate since the inception of the MMI, but is still in excess of spending increases for most other sectors of the economy.
  • Even though hospital spending is only 48% of total healthcare spending, increases in facility spending (inpatient and outpatient combined) account for over 60% of this year’s total increase in cost of healthcare.

+ Full Report (PDF)

2011 Pension Funding Study

April 30, 2011 Comments off

2011 Pension Funding Study
Source: Milliman

The companies surveyed in the Milliman Pension Funding Study reported a record $59.4 billion in contributions to their defined benefit pension plans in 2010. But even when coupled with investment gains, the contributions were offset by an increase in liabilities generated by a decrease in discount rates, and the funded status of the plans improved by just $12.4 billion for the year.

+ Full Document (PDF)

See also: Pension Funding Index

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