Actuaries recommended no year-over-year changes to the economic assumptions for the County Employees Retirement System (CERS) during a Thursday meeting of the CERS Actuarial Committee. The committee voted to forward to the full board the recommendations of Danny White, senior consultant with CERS actuarial consultants GRS.
White listed the three primary economic assumptions used in an actuarial evaluation, including price inflation, investment return, and payroll growth. The recommendation to remain level followed an assessment of long-term investment forecasts. Current CERS rates are 2.3% price inflation, 6.25% investment return, and 2% payroll growth.
White stated that while recent reports indicate inflation was 7.9% higher in February 2022 compared to February 2021, it had no direct impact on assumptions. “There’s not a benefit provision itself that is tied to the actual change in price inflation,” White told the board. “An exception of that would be if you had a COLA, a cost-of-living increase, that was tied to inflation.”
White noted that while CERS payroll has remained steady over the past ten years, it did see a slight decrease last year. However, he stressed that the numbers are still positive. White argued a 2% payroll growth assumption is safe for CERS.
The CERS Board of Trustees meets Wednesday at 2:00 EDT.