In response to a comment/question in a prior blog:
John, are you a part of any “screaming actuaries” groups? Are there such things? I recently sat through three finalist presentations as a citizen trustee for a municipal plan and it seemed like there were a dozen different actuary groups that these pension actuaries were in. Do any of them represent the ideas that Dr. Gold laid out of pushing for standards demanding more and explicitly considering role of serving the public?
I’m asking because I think that asking finalist candidates and the like whether they are a member of these groups would be a good practice as a fiduciary who is focused on my long-term responsibility to the fund. Or even to get them to put an answer in their response to the RFP to just get them to official state their stance.
And one more question – do you think it would be reasonable to make as a part of an RFP and then contract that they need to also publish the “disclosure of accrued benefits discounted by the Treasury yield curve – & the associated annual cost” that Dr. Gold mentions on slide 34? I think these are the “North/Rauh/Pepta numbers” that he mentioned, but I’m really not clear enough what these are to demand them. Does Dr. Gold publish a best practice valuation report showing what this would be?
which referenced this comment/question from Jeremy Gold:
and raised two seminal points worth exploring:
Where are the screaming actuarial groups?
Often advocating for your members means pushing policies that make them more money. If concepts like new comparability allocations or watered-down funding requirements through MAP-21 and HATFA in the private sector and staying silent in the public sector make life easier (and more lucrative) for your members then you are bucking the majority by ignoring their economic realities. There is the odd American Academy of Actuaries paper (Pension Funding 80% Myth) but I daresay not paying your AAA dues would still get you kicked out quicker than propagating this myth. What an actuarial group needs to scream about is outing amateurs with vested interests manipulating their profession.
Where are the screaming actuaries?
Not doing public plans as explained in two quotes. From Upton Sinclair:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
He who pays the piper calls the tune.