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Pension Liabilities in the U.S. Financial Accounts Susan Hume McIntosh and Elizabeth Holmquist Flow of Funds Section Board of Governors of the Federal.

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Presentation on theme: "Pension Liabilities in the U.S. Financial Accounts Susan Hume McIntosh and Elizabeth Holmquist Flow of Funds Section Board of Governors of the Federal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pension Liabilities in the U.S. Financial Accounts Susan Hume McIntosh and Elizabeth Holmquist Flow of Funds Section Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System OECD Workshop on Pensions Canberra, Australia April 23, 2012

2 Presentation Outline 1.Summary of proposed changes 2.Current approach 3.International standards (SNA 2008) 4.Collaboration with BEA 5.New table layouts 6.Effect on household sector 7.Shift from DB plans to annuities 8.Underfunding/overfunding by sector 9.Ongoing and future work April 23, 20132OECD Pension Workshop

3 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop3 Proposed Changes for Sept Use BEAs accrued liabilities series for private, state and local government, and federal government DB pension plans Show a new public and private aggregate pension table Show total household retirement assets Pension reserves becomes pension entitlements New instrument for claims of pension fund on sponsor

4 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop4 Current Approach DC plans: liabilities equal amount invested plus investment income DB plans: liabilities equal assets held by pension funds for future pension entitlements IRAs: not included in pension sectors because they are not tied to a specific employer Life insurance annuities: included in the life insurance company sector and pension reserves of households

5 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop5 International Standards (2008 SNA) Pension entitlements Pension entitlements show the extent of financial claims both existing and future pensioners hold against either their employer or a fund designated by the employer to pay pensions earned as part of a compensation agreement between the employer and employee.

6 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop6 International Standards (2008 SNA) Claims of pension fund on pension manager When the pension manager is a unit different from the administrator, with the consequences that the responsibility for any deficit, or claims on any excess, rest with the pension manager, the claim of the pension fund on the pension manager is shown under this heading.

7 International Standards (2008 SNA) April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop7 Financial Instrument AssetLiability FCHHNFCFC Pension entitlements11 Claim of pension fund on pension managers33

8 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop8 International Standards (2008 SNA) Social security In recognition of the fact that social security is normally financed on a pay-as-you basis, entitlements accruing under social security (both pensions and other social benefits) are not normally shown in the SNA.

9 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop9 DB Pension Liabilities Calculated by BEA for July 2013 Comprehensive Revision Private: ABO approach using tax returns filed with PBGC; AAA corporate bond yield (5.5% recently) used for interest rate assumption State and local: ABO approach using sample of actuarial valuation reports covering 90% of assets back to 2000; Census Bureau will be collecting data going forward; AAA corporate bond yield used for discount rate Federal: PBO approach based on actuarial reports for civilian (1979 forward) and military plans (1985 forward) adjusted for plan changes.

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16 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop16 Claims of Private Plans on Corporations In 2008 and 2009, underfunding was about $250 billion for the top 100 firms with private DB pension plans, (Milliman) Financial corps. account for about 10% of the accrued liabilities (Milliman and BEA data using NAIC codes) Financial corps. represent only 5% of the underfunding (Milliman) Banks and insurance cos. have most of the private DB plans Bank DB plans are better funded than insurance companies DB plans Given that financial firms represent a small share and percentages will vary by year on whether under/overfunded, we attribute all under/overfunding to nonfinancial corporations

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21 Shift from Defined Benefit Plans to Life Insurance Annuities April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop21

22 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop22 General Motors and Prudential Insurance On June 1, 2013 GM offered 42,000 salaried retirees who retired after Oct. 1, 1997 and before Dec. 1, 2011 lump sum payments; roughly 30% accepted Purchased group annuity from Prudential Insurance for 76,000 salaried retirees who turned down lump sum or retired before Oct. 1, 1997; retirees get same payout Shifted $26 billion of pension obligations; Only $9.2 billion in pension obligations with $6.1 billion in assets left in U.S. salaried pension plan. Prudential getting 10% premium on transaction; expected to ultimately make $91 million of total profits on the deal Cost to employer is 110% to 115% of current liabilities No longer offers DB pensions to newly hired salaried workers.

23 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop23 Verizon Communications and Prudential Insurance Oct Verizon transferred $7.5 billion – 25% of total pension obligations -- to Prudential Insurance Covered 41,000 salaried employees who began receiving pensions before Jan. 1, 2010; retirees formerly represented by unions not included in buyout Verizon contributed $2.5 billion to its pension plan to raise funding to 80% of obligations and paid insurer premium of $1 billion (15% of 2011 cash flow from operations) DB plan closed to new hires, now placed exclusively in the 401(k) plan

24 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop24 Decoupling DB Pension Plan from Employer Objective is to de-risk the pension plan (interest rate and longevity) while improving longer-term financial profile Employers no longer exposed to fluctuating interest rates and investment results which can affect contributions Investments shift from equities to mostly high-quality corporate bonds. PBGC will no longer insure benefits Neither GM nor Prudential will pay PBGC premiums (flat or variable based on underfunding) for annuitized obligations State guaranty associations provide partial coverage for Prudential annuities Prudential and MetLife two largest players in the buyout market

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27 April 23, 2013OECD Pension Workshop27 Ongoing and Future Work Recently updated benchmarks and methodology for state and local government employee retirement plans (Census Bureau) for 2004:Q3 forward (March 2013) Updating benchmarks and methodology for private DB and DC pension plans assets (Department of Labor 5500) for 2006:Q1 forward (June 2013) Add State and local DC plans (403(b)s and 457s) Splitting CREF between private and state and local plans Add Private Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to federal pension sector

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