Pensions and Social Security

Translations of certain IAA papers have been made by local member associations or members. The IAA has neither reviewed nor endorsed them. However, we are providing them on our website as a service to members.

  Pension Fund Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Risk Disclosures: Developing Global Practice - December 2020 - This paper summarizes the main features and trends in pension fund ESG risk disclosures around the world available to regulators, members and the public. Pension fund ESG risks are important in terms of long-term fund performance and delivering members’ benefits, as well as in relation to wider societal impacts, and this is a rapidly developing area. Based on the information gathered via a survey of 14 countries, the paper looks at how local legislation, type of pension fund, size, structure and available resources, among other factors, affect pension funds engaging in ESG disclosures.

The paper highlights important issues and trends relating to ESG disclosures that actuaries involved with pension funds, whether as trustees, investment managers, investment consultants or advisers on funding or governance, should  be aware of, so that they can ensure their clients or employers address the challenges on a timely basis. It is also relevant to the wider pension fund community.

Webinar on January 21, 2021

Webinar:  Recording: 
  Actuarial Perspectives on World Population Prospects 2019 - October 2020 - This paper provides an overall actuarial perspective on the United Nations (UN) World Population Prospects 2019 (WPP2019).  WPP2019 presents the latest revision of population projections for the world and for individual countries, groups of countries and regions, summarizing estimates for 1950 to 2019 and projections from 2020 to 2100.

This paper aims to inform actuaries around the world about the possible evolution of the world’s population based on the UN report. The paper discusses the methodologies used in WPP2019 and the assumptions underlying the projections. It identifies some areas of particularly great uncertainty that should be considered when using these projections in actuarial work such as developing population projections for applications in individual countries and financial reviews of social security plans. The paper also aims to summarize some of the key features of the results of WPP2019 in a way which will interest and inform actuaries, as well as a wider audience of organizations with which the IAA interacts.

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  Interaction Between Pension and Housing - February 2019 - This paper discusses the current trends of Retirement Income Systems in several developed countries. It then explores the characteristics of the housing markets in these countries. The paper’s objectives include an exploration of the role of housing in providing retirement wealth and income. It sets out instances where consideration of both pensions and housing simultaneously can lead to favourable outcomes.
It is hoped that this paper will encourage a long-term broadening of actuarial activity in three areas. First, that actuaries already involved in Retirement Income Systems (both as practitioners and influencers of public policy) will incorporate housing into their framework, along with pensions and social security arrangements. Second, that those actuaries that advise individuals on pension issues will also consider housing implications. Third, while there are a small number of actuaries already involved with housing (for example, through bank financing), there is scope for significantly more actuarial involvement in the many facets of housing, such as financing (current and innovative), supply and demand, taxation and social issues. It is also hoped that increased public discussion will be held regarding the relationship between housing and Retirement Income Systems.

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  Defined Benefit Pension Plan Funding and the Role of Actuaries - May 2018 - This monograph considers the funding of defined benefit (DB) pension plans and specifically the prefunding of DB pension plans rather than pay-as-you-go systems. It looks at some of the key questions that arise when considering how pension plans are funded and the role of actuaries in helping to answer these questions. It looks too at some of the key drivers for different approaches to pension plan funding. It uses the term pension plan to refer to the legal entity or arrangement that is used to deliver the pension benefit. This monograph is educational rather than representing any form of guidance. Any proposals made are subject to the relevant actuary’s judgement in the circumstances of a particular situation.
Measuring and Reporting Actuarial Obligations of Social Security Systems Measuring and Reporting Actuarial Obligations of Social Security Systems - March 2018 - Many accounting and statistical agencies and institutions have already issued or are considering issuing guidelines on measuring and reporting actuarial obligations of social security systems. This is a principles-based paper presenting the Social Security Committee's perspectives on measurement and reporting of actuarial obligations of SSRSs and emphasizes the importance of relevant disclosures.
Determination of Retirement and Eligibility Ages

Determination of Retirement and Eligibility Ages: Actuarial, Social and Economic Impacts - March 2016 - This Paper has been produced by the Population Issues Working Group of the Scientific Committee of the IAA. We extend our sincere thanks to the members of the drafting team: Morteza Aalabaf-Sabaghi, Yair Babad, Assia Billig, Sam Gutterman and Martin Stevenson

Joint Synthesis Paper by IOPS and IAA

Joint Synthesis Paper by IOPS and IAA: The role of actuarial calculations and reviews in pension supervision. By Sherika L.L. Ellis, Esko Kivisaari and Dariusz Stanko - September 2015

Joint Background Paper by IOPS and IAA Joint Background Paper by IOPS and IAA: The role of actuarial calculations and reviews in pension supervision. By Sherika L.L. Ellis, Esko Kivisaari and Dariusz Stanko - September 2015
Actuarial Aspects of ERM for Insurance Companies Actuarial Aspects of ERM for Insurance Companies - The purpose of this paper is to provide assistance to actuaries or other practitioners in relation to Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). The objective is to assist practitioners, and to help to achieve greater consistency in relation to knowledge and awareness of various topics. This paper has been produced by the Enterprise and Financial Risk Committee of the IAA.

Stochastic Projections of the Financial Experience of Social Security Programs: Issues, Limitations and Alternatives — For well over a century, actuaries have projected the financial experience of social security programs around the world. Policymakers – and actuaries themselves – have debated various aspects of these financial projections, such as: (a) the key economic and demographic assumptions, including mortality improvement and fertility trends, on which the projections are based, (b) the duration of the projections, which have ranged from just a few years to 75 or more years, and (c) the treatment of uncertainty by deterministic and stochastic methods. This paper focuses on this last aspect, highlighting key issues related to the application of stochastic models, although the paper also touches on the first two aspects due to their interrelated nature.

Note on Enterprise Risk Management for Pensions

Note on Enterprise Risk Management for Pensions  This paper provides an important summary of the pension industry's perspective on Enterprise Risk Management for capital and solvency purposes in the insurance industry, noting that:

  • in pensions the sponsoring company is generally not an insurance company and therefore pension issues should, in the sponsoring employer, be dealt with in the general framework of ERM, not just in a framework adapted to insurers; and
  • while pensions have much in common with insurance contracts, there are quite a few differences, meaning that the framework adapted to insurers is not directly applicable to pension funds.