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2011 Study of Economic Assumptions


Per FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) the sponsor of a defined benefit pension plan is required to use assumptions that are explicit and consistent such that they reflect the expectations of the upcoming economic conditions. For this companies must disclose their economic assumptions. The 2011 Survey of Economic Assumptions is intended to provide information on the assumptions disclosed by a wide range of companies and can provide an indication of trends in the marketplace.

Deloitte Consulting LLP’s 2011 Study of Economic Assumptions compiled information disclosed by many of the Fortune 500 companies in their most recent annual reports. The survey focused on 267 companies who sponsor pension or other post-retirement benefits and have calendar fiscal years. Of these, 262 companies disclosed information about defined benefit plans; 235 disclosed information about OPEB (subject to ASC 715-60), including five companies that disclosed only OPEB arrangements. The disclosure information also included assumptions the companies used as of the prior year, equipping us to compare changes in the assumptions from one year to the next.

Specifically, we discuss:

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

Download the full report.

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