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Report to the Board: 2015 Technical Panel on Assumptions and Methods

September 22, 2015

Every four years the Social Security Advisory Board commissions a panel of expert economists, demographers and actuaries to review the assumptions of the Social Security Trustees and the methods of the Office of the Chief Actuary used in projecting the finances of the Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust funds. The 2015 Technical Panel on Assumptions and Methods was the fifth such panel commissioned by the Board.



Key Documents

Members of the Panel

Alicia Munnell (Chair), Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and Director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Professor Munnell is a former member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and vice-president and research director at the Boston Federal Reserve.
Katharine Abraham, Professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the Maryland Population Research Center and formerly Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
David Autor, Professor and Associate Department Head of the MIT Department of Economics
Jeffrey Brown, William G. Karnes Professor of Finance and Director of the Center for Business and Public Policy at the University of Illinois and past member of the Social Security Advisory Board.
Peter Diamond, Institute Professor (emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recipient of the Economic Sciences prize in memory of Alfred Nobel, and past president of the American Economic Association.
Claudia Goldin, Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Development of the American Economy program, past president of the American Economic Association and the Economic History Association.
Sam Gutterman, Retired as Director and Consulting Actuary at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and past president of the Society of Actuaries
Ronald Rindfuss, Research Professor of Sociology and Carolina Population Center Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, past president of the Population Association of America.
Michael Teitelbaum, Senior Research Associate in the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program, formerly Vice President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and formerly vice-chair and acting chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform.
Joe Silvestri, Senior Actuary, U.S. Government Accountability Office, formerly Retirement Research Actuary at the Society of Actuaries.

Meeting Archives

Meeting Information – December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014 Meeting held at SSAB, Washington, DC

  1. Agenda
  2. Response to prior Technical Panel recommendations: OACT commentary
  3. Accuracy of past projections
    (a) TABLE: Total fertilty rate actual vs. projected, OACT
    (b) TABLE: Life Expectancy (unisex) at birth actual vs. projected, OACT
    (c) TABLE: Life Expectancy (unisex) at age 65 actual vs. projected, OACT
    (d) TABLE: Changes in the Estimated Long-Range OASDI Actuarial Balance Since the 1983, OACT Actuarial Note 8 (recurring).
    (e) TABLE: Long-Range Estimates: OASDI Trust Funds under the Intermediate Assumptions in the Past Trustees’ Reports
  4. Replacement rates
    (a) Overiew of replacement rates methodological issues by Jeff Brown
    (b) OACT Actuarial Note 155: Replacement Rates for Retirees: What Makes Sense for Planning and Evaluation?, July 2014 (this is the note released ion response to the dropping of replacement rates in the 2014 Trustees Report )
    (c) OACT Actuarial Note 9 (recurring): Replacement Rates for Hypothetical Retired Workers, July 2014
  5. Mortality
    (a) Sam Gutterman: Possible mortality issues that might be discussed by the Technical Panel
    (b) Sam Gutterman: General description of mortality projection methods
    (c) OACT slides (Alice Wade) on SSA mortality projections
    (i) Steve Goss, Presentation to Society of Actuaries, October 2014
    (ii) Sam Gutterman, article on 2014 SOA session on mortaltiy projection, The Actuary, Dec. 2014

Agenda and all presentations attached below: