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BenAssist provides the following actuarial valuation and consulting services for sponsors of defined benefit and GASB 45 plans:


Defined Benefit Plan Actuarial Valuations and Consulting

We provide a variety of actuarial services, including complete annual actuarial valuation services for sponsors of qualified defined benefit plans. Specific annual services include: preparation of annual actuarial valuation and report, preparation of government forms (IRS and PBGC), preparation of accounting expense and disclosure (FAS 87/158) and audit support. In addition, we specialize in plan design analysis and asset/liability modeling, and often provide these services for our clients. BenAssist also provides complete actuarial valuation and non-discrimination testing services for professional organizations that sponsor defined benefit plans. Often, such plans are designed as cash balance plans and are “cross-tested” with the plan sponsor’s defined contribution plan in order to satisfy the IRC Section 401(a)(4) nondiscrimination rules.


GASB 45 and FAS 106 Actuarial Valuations

GASB 45 - In 2004, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) published Statement 45 (GASB 45) requiring governmental entities that provide other post-employment benefits (OPEBs) to reflect the liability and cost of those benefits on their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Most governmental entities (such as state and local governments, municipalities, school districts and governmental hospitals) sponsoring OPEB arrangements are subject to GASB 45. BenAssist provides complete GASB 45 actuarial services including: the initial and subsequent actuarial valuations following GASB 45 standards, GASB 45 liability/cost projections, determination of the Annual Required Contribution (ARC) and Net OPEB Obligation, interactive modeling and consulting to explore options for mitigating GASB 45 impact. BenAssist actuaries have been heavily involved with GASB 45 since its inception, and have assisted numerous governmental entities of varying sizes. We have helped governmental organizations understand complex GASB 45 related topics such as the implicit rate subsidy, funding options and GASB 45 cost containment strategies.

FAS 106 – To comply with GAAP accounting standards, a company sponsoring a post-retirement benefit arrangement must comply with FAS 106 (as amended by FAS 132 and FAS 158). If the arrangement is funded (for example, with a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association or VEBA) then an annual determination of the maximum deductible contribution is also required pursuant to IRC Section 419. BenAssist provides comprehensive actuarial services and support for retiree medical plan sponsors, including the annual actuarial valuation pursuant for FAS 106, preparation of the FAS 106 net periodic benefit cost and year-end financial disclosure and calculation of the maximum deductible contribution, if the arrangement is funded.


Non-Qualified Defined Benefit Plan Actuarial Services

Providing executives with desirable, secure retirement benefits through Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERPs) is one of the most effective ways to deliver meaningful executive compensation. We offer the following actuarial valuation and consulting services for sponsors of SERPs: actuarial valuations including comprehensive SERP accounting disclosures pursuant to FAS 87 and FAS 158, plan design consulting, replacement ratio modeling studies, assumption reviews, and benefit calculations. Frequently, we provide assistance with present value and annuity calculations, in particular, calculations involving mortality or other contingencies. In addition, we provide consulting and calculations related to change-in-control (CIC) benefits which are frequently found in SERP documents. For our SEC registered clients, we assist with preparation of the Annual Proxy Statement, specifically providing required information for the pension table and post-employment table disclosures.


Actuarial Audits and Actuarial Work Product Review

BenAssist performs actuarial audits of various levels. While we are fully equipped to perform a comprehensive actuarial and compliance review, clients often request less extensive examinations. For example, we frequently review and analyze financial statement information for defined benefit plans, SERPs and retiree medical arrangements under FAS 87, 88, 106, 112 and 158, and provide assistance explaining the financial statement impact of settlements, curtailments and plan terminations. We regularly provide review and analysis of actuarial assumptions and methods used in defined benefit plan actuarial valuations.


Defined Benefit Plan Vendor Review and/or Ongoing Management

Having spent our careers at international consulting firms, we have an in-depth knowledge of the way those firms typically staff and manage annual services and out-of-scope projects (including pension administration system implementation projects). We understand the value of implementing “best practices” with regard to the services provided by your actuary, benefits consultant and/or defined benefit plan pension administrator. In addition, we have an in-depth knowledge of pension administration systems and system implementation projects. As an independent actuary and benefits consultant, we have saved our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars through the implementation of our vendor management and cost containment strategies. Since most clients wish to maintain good relations with their existing actuary and/or pension administration firm, our first priority is to be 100% aligned with your objectives. Thus, we are typically engaged to monitor and manage out-of-scope charges, assist in developing budgets and project plans, and serve as an independent third party subject matter expert.

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