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News & Policy

PBGC Shares Research Tool With Society of Actuaries

October 12, 2010

WASHINGTON---The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation today announced an agreement to share its principal modeling tool, the Pension Insurance Modeling System (PIMS), with the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the nation's largest actuarial research organization.

PBGC research staff developed PIMS to project the pension insurer's future financial condition and better understand its exposure to risk. The system produces thousands of projections and generates a range of possible outcomes for pension plans and for the PBGC. Under the agreement, the PBGC has delivered to the SOA a copy of the PIMS source code, the PIMS data base and related model documentation. The SOA will use PIMS to produce its own research and analysis for reports and other external communications.

"This agreement is important," said PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum. "It helps the PBGC ensure the quality of its work by giving experts open access to our models. And it helps the broader community by giving actuaries a more powerful tool for their research."

"The actuarial profession has a unique and valuable perspective to provide on current pension issues," said S. Michael McLaughlin, president of the Society of Actuaries. "Our agreement with the PBGC to use its Pension Insurance Modeling System software will allow us to provide timely, relevant research and analysis that is responsive to important issues of immediate public, social or media interest."

The PBGC is a federal agency that guarantees payment of private pension benefits when companies and pension plans fail. It protects some 44 million Americans in over 29,000 private defined benefit pension plans. The PBGC pays benefits using insurance premiums and assets and other recoveries from plans and their sponsors; it receives no taxpayer funds.

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PBGC No. 11-02