Sibson Consulting's actuarial services can help employers forecast plan funding requirements, identify available options and explore alternatives for plan funding, measure assumptions and highlight changes and trends. Our services include:
- Annual actuarial valuations for funding and accounting purposes
- Assisting clients in developing funding strategies, including achieving desired funding targets
- Analyzing alternatives in funding methods, asset smoothing methods and amortization of unfunded liabilities
- Developing actuarial assumptions and preparing experience studies
- Financial risk mitigation studies
Our established method for performing an actuarial valuation defines the sequence, methodology and quality control for the project. We have found that these procedures ensure a quality actuarial product and communicate the results in a clear manner.
Our procedure includes the following steps:
- Initial preparation: Sibson sets up files, including plan documents for all benefit plans, previous valuations and any other relevant materials, and prepares a summary of the benefit plans and the present assumptions.
- Gathering and reviewing participant data: We gather participant data and run it through standard "edit and distribution" programs to verify completeness and reasonableness. This includes complete census information on active, terminated and retired participants as well as a complete statement of plan assets and a financial reconciliation to the prior valuation date.
- Developing and/or revising and testing all computer programs: We tailor our actuarial computer programs specifically to the benefit provisions applicable to your plan. We continuously make programming adjustments as necessary to take into account changes in benefits, contributions and actuarial assumptions. We go through extensive testing of valuation applications before, during and after processing the actual valuations to assure that the programs perform as expected.
- Reviewing assumptions against experience: Sibson assesses developing trends and analyzes actuarial gains and losses since the previous valuation. We then discuss any unusual results with the plan, if necessary.
- Completing the actuarial calculations: At this stage, we run final versions of computer valuation programs, prepare worksheets and tables and submit all hand calculations to a checker to verify mathematical accuracy.
- Reviewing the actuarial valuation: This review is conducted by one of our Supervising Actuaries and encompasses the entire process, including participant and financial data preparation, calculations and programs. The Supervising Actuary assumes responsibility for the completeness and correctness of the actuarial results.
- Presenting the report: We present our actuarial valuation report to our clients and meet with them to discuss the report, its findings, the reasons for changes and any other relevant matters. We then follow up with the client on any action arising from the report.