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Copyright © 2013 GRS – All rights reserved. DB vs. DC A False Choice in Retirement Plans Presented By: James J. Rizzo Piotr Krekora Gabriel, Roeder, Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © 2013 GRS – All rights reserved. DB vs. DC A False Choice in Retirement Plans Presented By: James J. Rizzo Piotr Krekora Gabriel, Roeder, Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © 2013 GRS – All rights reserved. DB vs. DC A False Choice in Retirement Plans Presented By: James J. Rizzo Piotr Krekora Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company Florida Government Finance Officers Association Nature Coast Chapter Citrus Hills Golf & Country Club April 16, 2014

2 2  There had been a debate swirling around corporate and governmental employers for many decades as to which is better: ► Defined benefit (DB) retirement plans, or ► Defined contribution (DC) retirement plans  Let’s defined the terms first by examining their characteristics DB Plans and DC Plans

3 3  Traditional Defined benefit (DB) plans ► Benefits paid are defined by formulas and rules ► Contributions by employer are actuarially determined ► Pension plans usually pay monthly pensions for life ► Like the pension part of FRS ► Like local police and fire pension plans ► Like Social Security  Traditional Defined contribution (DC) plans ► Employer contributions are defined by a formula ► Account balance plans that credit interest equal to the actual earnings of underlying investment assets ► Like the Investment Plan part of FRS ► Like 401(k) plans in the private sector ► Like so-called 401(a) plans and 457 plans in the government sector DB vs. DC Debate

4 4  Individual Account Balances  Account Interest Credited  Investment Risk*  Predictability of Contributions*  Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability*  Retirement Planning*  Longevity and Other Risks*  Benefit Skew*  Form of Benefit*  Portability  Vesting  Funded Status  Operational Expenses*  Education and Communication * Most important distinctions Distinguishing Features

5 5 DB vs. DC Comparison

6 6

7 7  A hybrid plan is a single plan that has some features of a DB plan and some features of a DC plan  An arrangement with side-by-side DB and DC plans ► Two separate plans ► This arrangement is not really a hybrid plan ► Although some people use the term “hybrid” when describing a side-by-side DB and DC ► But consider a Toyota Prius – gasoline and electric in one car  Two broad types of hybrid plans 1. Cash Balance Plans 2. Variable Benefit or Variable Annuity Hybrid Plans

8 8 1. Cash Balance Plans ► “Looks” more like a DC plan (each member has an account balance) ► Implementations Recently proposed in State Senate for FRS, but more recently amended out At OUC and JEA (electric utilities in Orlando and Jacksonville), Cash Balance Plans in the last few years In some other states and jurisdictions outside Florida At many private sector employers ► Employer contributes a fixed amount into each employee’s account; employee contributes as well ► Interest is credited to each account Different plan designs credit interest differently Interest credit is not permitted to equal the rate earned by the actual underlying assets ► Benefit is usually paid out in a lump sum at termination or retirement; sometimes annuitized pension is permitted Hybrid Plans

9 9 2. Variable Benefit or Variable Annuity ► “Looks” a lot like a DB plan (lifetime pensions paid) ► Implementations State of Wisconsin City of Ocala GE Some private sector employers ► Monthly benefit amount varies depending on certain trigger points built into the plan design Investment Return Trigger - Some change the multiplier for the current year depending on investment returns for the year - higher multiplier for higher return; lower multiplier or zero for lower returns. Other plan designs pay additional “dividends” on benefits Employer Contribution Trigger - Some change the multiplier for the current year (or all years retroactive to transition date) in order to keep the employer contribution predictably within a pre-set corridor – higher multiplier for low employer contribution; lower multiplier for high employer contribution Hybrids Plans

10 10 Hybrid Features

11 11 Hybrid Features

12 12 Hybrid Features

13 13 Hybrid Features

14 14  Primary motivations for moving from DB to DC plans 1. “The corporate world has moved from DB to DC plans.” 2. “ We got rid of our DB plan where I work(ed).” 3. “I never had a DB plan; neither should they.” 4. “ The conservative think-tanks and legislatively active organizations say we should move to a DC plan.” 5. “My political party leaders say DB plans are bad.” 6. “DB plans are more dangerous than DC plans in the hands of politicians.” 7. “I don’t trust elected officials to stand firm against the unions by not refusing retroactive benefit improvements for DB members.” 8. “Employer contributions to our DB plans have become unbearably and unreasonably high.” 9. “Employer contributions need to be more predictable.” 10. “Employer (taxpayers) should not bear the investment risk.” Hybrids Plans

15 15  Driving principles from City Council ► Roll back future benefits to bend the cost curve soon ► Future benefits should resemble FRS ► Share risks between employees and employer ► Make employer contributions more predictable Case Study: City of Ocala GE

16 16  Bend the expected cost curve ► Changing benefits for new hires alone will take a very long time to bend the expected cost curve So putting in a DC plan for new hires alone won’t do much Putting in a new DB formula for new hires alone won’t do much ► Must change benefits for all employees (current and new) in order to bend the expected cost curve in a reasonably short time Either all in a DC or All in a less generous benefit structure for future service ► Not permitted to roll back benefits for current retirees or for current active employees eligible for normal retirement ► Not permitted to roll back benefits retroactively, i.e., cutting accrued benefits below what active employee have earned now Case Study

17 17  Bending the expected cost curve ► Freeze the benefits for current actives at what they earned as of the transition date; call it Part A ► Start the new and less generous benefit structure for future service; call it part B ► Final benefit is Part A plus Part B Case Study

18 18  Make the employer contribution more predictable...  By sharing the risk with employees ► Moving to a DC plan for new hires alone will take a very long time to share the risk ► Not permitted to share the risk with current retirees or with current active employees eligible for normal retirement ► Not permitted to share the risk on benefits earned at transition  Part B benefit structure is the hybrid plan design ► Part B monthly projected benefit can go up or down, depending on the trigger mechanism, thereby sharing the risk and reward ► Part A monthly benefit is fixed and frozen at the transition date Case Study

19 19 Case Study  Without a VBH feature in the legacy DB plan -- It will take over 40 years to reach a risk-sharing with employees; in 20 years City/taxpayers still bear 85% of investment risk Employees Bear 100% Risk City/taxpayers Bear 100% Risk

20 20  Part B starts out with a 1.6% multiplier, like FRS Regular Class ► Multiplier can go up, but not above a cap of 2.55% ► Multiplier can go down, but not below a floor of 1.0% ► Depending on the level of the actuarially required contribution ► As long as the actuarially determined contribution (ADC) stays within a pre-set employer contribution budget, the multiplier remains unchanged; improves predictability ► Makes the employer contribution more predictable Case Study

21 21  If the ADC were to go above the top of the budget corridor: ► The multiplier is reduced in order to keep the ADC inside the corridor ► Employee bears the risk above the corridor.  If the ADC were to go below the bottom of the budget corridor: ► The multiplier is increased in order to keep the ADC inside the corridor ► Employee reaps the reward below the corridor  Makes the employer contribution more predictable by sharing the risk (and reward) with the employee Case Study

22 22 Case Study With a VBH Feature: Budget Corridor

23 23  Circular 230 Notice: Pursuant to regulations issued by the IRS, to the extent this presentation concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matter addressed within. Each taxpayer should seek advice based on the individual’s circumstances from an independent tax advisor.  This presentation shall not be construed to provide tax advice, legal advice or investment advice.  Readers are cautioned to examine original source materials and to consult with subject matter experts before making decisions related to the subject matter of this presentation.  This presentation does not necessarily express the views of conference sponsor, nor Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company, and may not even express the views of the speaker. Disclaimers

24 Questions and Answers ? 24


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