It’s getting ugly……
8/1/16: Memo on the “Future of the Joint Academy/SOA Pension Finance Task Force”
As a work product of the joint PFTF, the paper, Financial Economics Principles Applied to Public Pension Plans, was–like the predecessor paper 10 years ago–intended to be published by the Academy and the SOA as a jointly owned and copyrighted paper. It appears this is no longer feasible, and neither the SOA nor the Academy will be publishing the paper or endorsing it. Because the paper was the work of the joint Task Force, we do not think it would be appropriate for members of the Task Force, as individuals, to take the existing paper and simply publish it somewhere else.
Actuarial leaders disband task force, object to paper on public plan liabilities
8/9/16: Letter to members regarding the joint Academy/Society of Actuaries Pension Finance Task Force:
The paper mentioned in the op-ed was subject to the same robust policy and editorial review process we use with all of the Academy’s publications. A working draft was submitted by the task force for the initial round of review. None of our reviewers thought it was ready for prime time. Setting substance aside, it was poorly written, poorly organized, and difficult for nonspecialists to read. The tone was, in many places, more appropriate for an economic manifesto than an objective policy analysis. Upon receiving the first round of peer review comments, several members of the task force rejected the process and left the table. That made it impossible for the task force to bring the report up to the Academy’s standards.
8/25/16: Wall Street Journal:
Covering Up the Pension Crisis – States and actuaries are trying to stifle debate about the growing shortfall in fund assets.
8/31/16: Letter to members:
Working under the auspices of both our organization and the American Academy of Actuaries, we were unable to reach an agreement with the authors on a version acceptable to all parties through our standard editing process. Nevertheless, on Thursday, Aug. 25, before the publication of the Wall Street Journal opinion piece, we informed the authors of the paper of our plans to publish the paper representing their views in the SOA’s Pension Forum publication. The publication is anticipated by the end of October and will be accompanied by discussant debate from a range of perspectives. In the interim, the SOA has agreed to the authors’ request to allow them more time to edit the paper. We expect to post an updated draft on the SOA website the week of Sept. 5.
9/7/16: November 2015 draft released.
9/11/16: Jeremy Gold’s response:
On 9/7 after delivering an ultimatum to the authors of Financial Economics Principles Applied to Public Pension Plans, the SOA published a November 2015 version of our paper. They ignored our rights and affixed a copyright statement favoring the AAA and the SOA.
Importantly, we had offered the SOA a better version of the paper dated August 31, 2016. We had also offered to recruit discussants and add authors’ responses to the discussions. This approach, which can be seen on the full version of Reinventing which can be found on the SOA website (39 page version), creates a superior product to the paper alone.
The August paper is available here: http://www.pensionfinance.org/papers/PubPrin.pdf
It is still a working paper and we may make some further edits. We expect to add intelligent discussions and responses.