Thursday, December 23, 2010

First of many?

Prichard, Alabama — This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.  Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen before: it stopped sending monthly pension checks to its 150 retired workers, breaking a state law requiring it to pay its promised retirement benefits in full. (Source: NYT)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


ING Groep NV began laying off 400 people in its US insurance operation as it prepares to sell the unit in an IPO.  The cuts amount to a 5% reduction at the unit, which will employ about 7600 people when the layoffs are complete.  In addition, ING is eliminating 200 open positions.


The plan involves the elimination of the unit's individual retirement wholesale distribution channel that sold annuities through broker-dealers. The company is also laying off workers as it continues to integrate CitiStreet, the administrator of retirement and benefit plans it acquired in 2008.


Executives of the parent company made a long-awaited announcement that it will most likely sell off its insurance operations in Europe and the US in two separate IPOs.  ING is being forced by the European Commission to sell them and nearly halve its balance sheet in return for getting approval for the multi-billion euro rescue it received from the Dutch government at the height of the financial crisis.  The selling of the insurance units, which it expects to complete before the end of 2013, will transform ING into a merely Europe-focused bank.

Source: Fox Business

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Society of Actuaries 2010 Annual Meeting (NYC)

Monday, October 18
7:15-8:15 Session 9: Investment Section Breakfast
8:30-10:00 Session 13: Opening General Session
10:30-12:00 Session 23: De-Risking Pension Plans
2:30-4:00 Session 43: Derivatives and Alternative Investments for Pension Plans (Moderator)
4:15-5:15 Session 46: SOA Qualification and Continuing Education

Tuesday, October 19
7:00-8:15 Session 51: Pension Section Breakfast (Presenter)
8:30-10:00 Session 64: PPA Update
10:30-12:00 Session 78: Late Breaking Developments for Pension Plans
12:15-2:15 Session 88: Presidential Luncheon
2:30-4:00 Session 99: Behavioral Finance in DC Plan Design
4:15-5:30 Session 104: Assumption Setting for Pension Plans

Wednesday, October 20
7:30-8:45 Session 109: Health Section Breakfast
9:00-10:15 Session 118: Statutory Hybrid Plans
10:45-12:00 Session 134: ERM and its Application to Pension Plans

Monday, July 12, 2010

Aon to buy Hewitt

The wave of consolidation in the benefits consulting/outsourcing industry is accelerating.  There will now be only three major players - Towers Watson, Mercer, Aon Hewitt.

Aon Corporation will buy Hewitt Associates, for $25.61 in cash and 0.6362 shares of AON for each share of HEW, or $50 a share at Friday's closing prices, a 41% premium.  Hewitt Associates Aon Corporation's Aon Consulting subsidiary will be merged to create AonHewitt.  Note that Hewitt is about three times the size of Aon Consulting, which should be interesting for the merger.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ACS acquires eHRO from HP

As one might have guessed two years ago when HP acquired EDS, HP doesn't want to stay in the benefits outsourcing space.  In June of last year (hindsight: in preparation for its merger with Watson Wyatt) Towers Perrin sold its minority stake in excellerateHRO to HP, which presumably was just looking for 100% ownership in order to be able to sell the division.  That sale took place today, as ACS attempts to grow its presence in that market.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Added a link to my blogroll is a Canadian life insurance broker's site. However, it has a bunch of historical actuarial research info including early work on disability waiver of premium, some of the earliest stuff on select/ultimate mortality rates, and a bunch of old mortality tables many of which aren't available elsewhere.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

JPMC getting out of actuarial business

Aon Consulting agreed to buy the Compensation and Benefit Strategies division of JPMorgan Chase (i.e., the former Chicago Consulting Actuaries) for an undisclosed amount.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010