Milliman Pension Buyout Index: September 2020
During August 2020, average accounting discount rates increased by 24 bps while annuity purchase rates increased by 20 bps.
Milliman was contacted by the sponsor of a 2,000-participant defined benefit (DB) plan to assist in their plan administration. As a plan administrator, Milliman typically designs an administration system to meet all the client’s requirements. The typical system houses a complete database for the client, increasing overall efficiency. However, considering the challenges facing the client, a fully integrated administration system was not the appropriate solution.
The typical system implementation works as follows:
The Milliman team thought of alternative solutions for overcoming these challenges. Instead of building a full administration system, the team created an Excel database to compile the records of all the participants, embedded with all the necessary calculations. The team also added a mail-merge utility to generate and deliver the benefit election kit to all the participants. This approach allowed the team to combine the more traditional actuarial calculation support in an efficient and effective way.
Creating the Excel database, embedded with the necessary calculations for compiling the database and delivering the election kit to the participant was innovative and its implementation was no less than an invention. The Excel tool helped the team perform all the requested functions efficiently, which would have otherwise been performed using an integrated administration system.
The client was able to benefit from a customized administrative tool to provide more cost effective services for their small plan.
The project went live in November 2017 and it has been running successfully since that time. In January 2018, the team completed approximately 100 calculations in a short window of time, which were successfully delivered to plan participants. The tool exceeded the client’s expectations and they were very satisfied with the services rendered by the team.
With this implementation, Milliman provided innovative and customized solutions to the client in a timely and cost-effective manner.