The cost to buy out a U.S. pension plan increased slightly in August.
According to the Mercer US Pension Buyout Index, the buyout cost for retirees was 108.8 percent of the accounting liability of the plan. That was up slightly from July, when the Buyout Index stood at 108.7.
In comparison, it would cost 108.1 percent of the plan’s accounting liability to keep those retirees on the books. This percentage includes an allowance for future retention costs, like administrative, PBGC premiums and asset-related costs, as well as a reserve for future improvements in mortality, Mercer found.
The Mercer Index allows plan sponsors to see at a glance how much it would cost for an insurance company to buy out a defined benefit plan’s retiree liabilities and how that cost changes over time. It also shows the approximate long-term economic cost of retaining the retiree liabilities on a sponsor’s balance sheet.