Studies & Reports

May 1, 2013

Pew Center for the States Primer

Pew Center for the States has had a presence in a number of states. Despite their claims to be an impartial think tank advocating for fair and transparent policies, Pew’s involvement in the pension fight is anything but fair and transparent.

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April 1, 2013

Cash Balance Plan Primer

This primer provides basic information about cash balance plans. While these types of retirement plans have been spreading in the private sector for more than a quarter century, there are only a few cash balance plans operating in the public sector.

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July 4, 2012

The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth

An 80% funded ratio often has been cited in recent years as a basis for whether a pension plan is financially or “actuarially” sound. Left unchallenged, this misinformation can gain undue credibility with the observer, who may accept and in turn rely on it as fact, thereby establishing a mythic standard. This issue brief debunks that myth and clarifies how actuaries view funding levels for pension plans and how the funded ratio relates to the general idea of “soundness” or the “health” of a pension plan or system. The Pension Practice Council of the American Academy of Actuaries finds that while the funded ratio may be a useful measure, understanding a pension plan’s funding progress should not be reduced to a single measure or benchmark at a single point in time. Pension plans should have a strategy in place to attain or maintain a funded status of 100% or greater over a reasonable period of time.

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