study of economic assumptions for defined benefit plans

Analysis

2021 study of economic assumptions

Used for ASC 715 purposes

This annual compilation by Deloitte’s Human Capital service area includes the defined benefit plan assumptions disclosed by many Fortune 500 companies in their most recent annual reports. Although the selection of assumptions should be specific to the individual plan, plan sponsors, as well as regulators, often compare their discount rate and other assumptions to those of other plan sponsors.

2021 study of economic assumptions

Deloitte Consulting LLP's 2021 study of economic assumptions compiles information disclosed by many of the Fortune 500 companies in their most recent annual reports. We have focused on 236 companies that sponsor pension or other post-retirement benefits in the US and that have calendar fiscal years. Of these, 226 companies disclosed information about defined benefit plans. Information about Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) (subject to ASC 715-60) was disclosed by 191 companies, including ten that disclosed only OPEB arrangements. The disclosure information also included assumptions the companies used as of the prior year, enabling us to compare changes in the assumptions from one year to the next.
Specifically, we discuss:

  • Prevailing interest rates
  • Discount rate assumption
  • Salary increase assumption
  • Expected return assumption
  • Funded status
  • Health care cost trend rate assumptions

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