Districts with under 100 plan members (including active employees, retirees, and terminated employees due deferred benefits) may use a simplified alternative method that doesn’t require an actuary for determining their GASB 45 liability. If your district falls into this category, please contact Cindy Mattern or Megan Hanson at SISC for a discussion of options available to you, ranging from do-it-yourself to significant actuarial assistance.
The results of a simplified calculation will be valid for developing a pre-funding strategy that the district could use as a basis for making periodic contributions to the SISC GASB 45 Trust. There may be advantages to having a full actuarial valuation done even if you are eligible for the simplified method. For example, the simplified method is based on a ‘canned’ set of actuarial assumptions. It is possible that a full actuarial valuation could result in a lower liability and annual expense for your district. These results are not guaranteed and will vary from district to district.
In general, if your retiree healthcare benefits are the subject of significant contention at the bargaining table, or otherwise a source of concern for top district officials and the school board, then we recommend that you have a full actuarial valuation done. If, on the other hand, your retiree healthcare obligation is not perceived as being a significant issue in your operations, then a simplified valuation should suffice.