AS YOU PREPARE to move ahead with GASB 45 accounting for Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB), you’ll want to work with someone who’s been there before. An advisor with the experience you need. A partner with reasonable fees. A knowledge leader.
Van Iwaarden’s unique combination of experience, lower fees, and knowledge leadership has made us the market leader for GASB 45 actuarial services.
We’ve completed more GASB 45 valuations than anyone we know of. Our OPEB clients include statewide plans, cities, counties, school districts, airport and transit authorities, and other governmental units from around the USA.
Our consultants began working with private employers over 20 years ago on retiree health plan design and valuation – and with school districts over 10 years ago in anticipation of the GASB 45 requirements.
Our experience enables us to see issues ahead of time – and to do your work quickly and efficiently. That keeps our fees among the lowest anywhere, and our Alternative Measurement Method (AMM) fees are the lowest we’ve seen. We give you a certified AMM valuation for less than some firms charge you to do it yourself.
Anyone can claim knowledge leadership; we’ve built our firm on it. Our consultants are frequent speakers on retirement topics such as GASB 45 and Other Post-Employment Benefit (OPEB) accounting. Here are recent speeches by two of our consultants, Mark Schulte and Jim van Iwaarden.
- “GASB 16, 27, 45 and 47: How to Deal with Them”, MASBO Conference,
- “OPEB Cost Control Strategies“, Self-Insurance Institute of America,
- “We Have the OPEB Numbers, Now What?”, MASBO Conference,
You can put our experience to work for you.
Call us toll free at 888.596.5960 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some case studies to help you consider what might be right for you:
GASB 45 focused a bright light on the cost of retiree health benefits and other OPEB’s. That was exactly the point. In the past, most government employers didn’t recognize OPEB costs until employees actually retired. That tended to mask the cost until it was too late to do anything about it.
Once the cost is unmasked, forward-thinking governments have moved to control them. Here’s how some of our clients have dealt with the issue.
CASE 1: BIG CITY, EARLY ADOPTER
This city’s OPEB issues were famously featured in the New York Times article “The Next Retirement Time Bomb” in December 2005. They decided to address the issue head-on. We worked with the City and its unions to set assumptions before beginning the actuarial valuation, so that all stakeholders could focus on solutions once the numbers were published. All agreed that the status quo was unsustainable. We collaborated with the City’s providers and unions to substantially reduce its OPEB liabilities. Some cost reductions were easy – like higher copayments for name-brand drugs vs. generics. Others were harder: prefunding OPEB liabilities, and switching to defined contribution (DC) accounts for new hires.
CASE 2: MIDSIZE CITY, SHIFT TO DC ACCOUNTS
This growing Western city realized that, while its OPEB liabilities were not unreasonable, they would become a problem if nothing was done. We designed a plan to shift the City’s open-ended defined benefit OPEB liabilities to defined contribution accounts, while preserving the expectations of long term employees and retirees. Each employee received a starting account balance for past service, and regular payroll contributions going forward. It’s been received as a win for both sides, with more certainty for both employer and employees.
CASE 3: PRIVATE COLLEGE, LOWERED COSTS AND PROVIDED FOR EARLY RETIREES
In the 1990’s, this private college needed to find a way to control retiree medical costs and provide incentives for early retirement. We took a look at the College’s retiree medical plan, and noticed that its Medicare integration method was overly expensive. By making that adjustment, along with a few others, they generated enough savings to provide medical coverage for early retirees.