Pension Outlook Overview
Pension Outlook is a tool to help plan and budget pension costs into the future with easy to understand results and charts.
You will be able to view the projected funded status and required employer contributions for pension plans in different potential scenarios for up to 30 years into the future — which will make budgeting more predictable. While Pension Outlook can't predict the future, it can provide valuable planning information based on a variety of possible future scenarios that you select.
Pension Outlook can help you answer specific questions about your plans, including:
- When is my plan expected to increase its funded status?
- What happens to my required contributions in a down market?
- How does the discount rate assumption affect my contributions?
- What is the impact of making an additional discretionary payment to my plan?
How to Get Started
At this time, only state and local public agencies with a non-pooled plan (employers with 100+ employees) can use the tool. We anticipate having the tool available for pooled plans (employers with less than 100+ employees) in the late fall of 2020.
The following browsers are supported and compatible with Pension Outlook:
- Chrome (Google)
- Firefox (Mozilla)
To access the tool:
- Go to the Pension Outlook Log In page.
- Simply sign-in by registering your information on the log in page and include your name, email address, organization name, and title.
- Select the box agreeing to the terms and condition of use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Review our Pension Outlook User Manual (PDF) for step-by-step instructions about how to use the tool.
Yes, until approximately mid-August 2020, then the tool will only be available on our website.
Pension Outlook will give you pension projection capabilities, but it does not take the place of a qualified actuary. Before relying on the output of this tool for any significant decisions, please consult with your CalPERS actuary.
Pension Outlook uses:
- Data from the most recent actuarial valuation reports (e.g. Public Agency Valuation Reports and other actuarial reports)
- Economic and demographic assumptions as published in the CalPERS Experience Study and Review of Actuarial Assumptions (PDF)
- User selected modeling assumptions (if user selections are made)
No, the current version of Pension Outlook only projects funding information (GASB 67) because the purpose of this model is to help plan for pension costs. Visit Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) for more information on the differences between GASB 67 and 68.
Yes, there could be differences between the projections Pension Outlook produces and the most recent valuation report for a public agency. Pension Outlook can make projections on a range of modeling assumptions. To match projections from the most recent actuarial valuation, the following selections should be made:
- Discount Rate: 7.000%
- PEPRA Transition: No
- Additional Discretionary Payment: No
- Random Investment Scenario: No
These are stochastically generated random investment scenarios from the CalPERS Asset Liability Management process.
This is the period of time for all employees of a public agency to be hired on or after the effective date of the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act. This is significant because employees hired after the effective date of PEPRA (January 1, 2013) are generally assumed to have lower employer pension costs than “classic” employees.
Pension Outlook does not currently project the impact of demographic changes on a public agency plan, but this functionality is being considered for a future release.