Posts Tagged ‘cheiron’

Don’t Frighten the Children (about Illinois Pensions)


Illinois public pension plans are in critical financial condition and were benefits valued using reasonable assumptions the picture would be even worse.  So what is Illinois doing about this?  Last summer the state hired an outside actuarial firm to “review assumptions and valuations prepared by actuaries retained by the boards of trustees of the State-funded retirement systems….and…recommend changes.”

Recently released was their work product, all 190 pages, though only these three pages are likely to be read and only this line likely to be publicized:

“Cheiron reviewed the actuarial assumptions used in each of the five systems’ actuarial valuations and concluded that they were reasonable.”

Which is what they were paid to conclude. However though Cheiron avers that “the interest rate assumptions for each of the five systems were reasonable at this time…..for three of the systems (TRS, SURS, and SERS), Cheiron recommended that the Boards consider lowering the interest rate assumption in the future.”

Those interest rates are: TRS – 8%; SURS – 7.75%; SERS: 7.75%;
The others: JRS: 7%; GARS: 7%

Though most people aren’t qualified (or inclined) to read through the report and argue actuarial concepts, there are some obvious questions that would give even a child* pause:

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Actuarial Valuations


Thanks to James B. Allen, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS), I received a copy of their January 1, 2011 valuation report and it offers a glimpse into the actuary’s role in developing the public pension funding crisis that some people are waking up to.

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