The Society of Actuaries (SOA) released an exposure draft of new public retirement plan mortality tables.
The SOA previously published private mortality tables, but developed the new tables once it was determined that public pensions have differing levels of mortality than private pensions. The SOA’s public-sector mortality study is designed to provide public pension actuaries and plan sponsors with information to help set mortality assumptions and includes separate mortality tables for teachers, public safety professionals and general members, respectively.
While each public pension plan is different, the SOA generally found that experience data showed that higher income was correlated with lower mortality. Income was generally a more statistically significant mortality factor than job category, geographic region or calendar year.
The amount-weighted annuity values produced by the public sector teachers table were consistently larger than those produced by the corresponding public safety and general tables. Generally speaking, this means that if all else is equal, pension obligations for teachers are greater than obligations for other job categories.
The SOA suggests it is important that professionals in this field perform their own analysis to understand the impact of the SOA’s public mortality tables on their own plan, based on their knowledge of the individual characteristics and experience of the covered groups.
The SOA is soliciting comments on this exposure draft. Comments should be sent to Patrick Nolan at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 31. Please include “Pub-2010 Comments” in the subject line.The Pub-2010 Public Retirement Plans Mortality Tables Exposure Draft Report, as well as other information, may be downloaded from here.