PBM Best Practices Series: What to expect from your PBM account team
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As the Pension Risk Transfer market continues to grow, it has become increasingly important for plan sponsors to monitor the annuity buyout market when considering a plan termination or de-risking strategy. Figure 1 illustrates retiree buyout costs with two different metrics: the red line represents only the most competitive insurers' rates from each month, while the blue line represents a straight average of all insurers' rates in this study.
These metrics demonstrate two important concepts. First, the competitive bidding process is estimated to save plan sponsors on average around 4.7% as of June 30. Second, retirees can be annuitized for an estimated 98.3% of accounting liabilities (accumulated benefit obligation).
During June 2022, average accounting discount rates increased by 28 basis points (bps), while competitive annuity purchase rates increased by 32 bps. This caused the estimated competitive retiree buyout cost as a percentage of accounting liability to decrease from 98.6% to 98.3%.
When considering these results, please keep the following information in mind:
The Milliman Pension Buyout Index (MPBI) uses the FTSE Above Median AA Curve and annuity purchase composite interest rates from eight insurance companies to estimate the cost, as a percentage of accounting liability, of transferring retiree pension obligations to an insurer. To review previous monthly findings, visit milliman.com/en/periodicals/Milliman-Pension-Buyout-Index.