Complex challenges. Clear strategies.

VIA Public Sector Solutions

The consultants at VIA Actuarial Solutions are experts in providing public sector pension and retiree healthcare (OPEB) actuarial services. Our team has decades of experience, with a special focus on communicating complex topics in a clear, straight-forward manner.

We understand that pension and OPEB plans can be very complicated! But we will take the time to explain actuarial concepts and results in layperson’s terms so you can make educated plan management decisions.

Do your actuarial reports leave you confused? Contact VIA and we’ll be glad to explain what it all means. Our favorite feedback is when clients tell us that they finally “get it” after joining us!




Public sector pension plans face unique challenges in today’s economic environment. Many plans are maturing rapidly while simultaneously facing economic headwinds. Fortunately, there are opportunities to better understand and address retirement plan risks.

We work with employers and plans/boards to develop practical long-term management strategies. These include:

  • Recurring funding and GASB 68 accounting actuarial valuation reports
  • Developing innovative Actuarially Determined Contributions (ADC) and comprehensive funding policies
  • Actuarial experience studies
  • Actuarial audits and “second opinion” analyses
  • Pension educational sessions for stakeholders and results presentations to boards

The primary advice we give our pension clients? Take a hard look at your investment return assumption to make sure that it’s reasonable and consistent with your investment advisor’s long-term capital market expectations.

This is often the most critical assumption used in pension actuarial valuations and, if it’s outdated, can obscure a plan’s true financial condition and promote insufficient contributions. Other assumptions are important, but the investment return expectation needs special attention.


Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB; retiree healthcare) plans may not receive as much attention as pensions, but they often carry significant unfunded liabilities. We’ve worked with hundreds of employers and completed thousands of OPEB actuarial valuations (both funding and GASB 75 accounting reports). We’ll use this experience to help you understand your OPEB plan management options.

Examples of OPEB projects we regularly prepare for our clients include:

  • Recurring funding and GASB 75 accounting actuarial valuation reports
  • Creating flexible funding and reimbursement policies
  • Calculating Actuarially Determined Contributions (ADC) to meet our clients’ objectives
  • Actuarial experience studies
  • Actuarial audits and “second opinion” analyses
  • OPEB educational sessions for stakeholders and results presentations to boards

Our most important advice to employers with OPEB plans? Understand that OPEB is fundamentally different than pensions and requires unique solutions. OPEB costs are typically much more volatile than pensions. Plan sponsors need to take a hard look at the pros/cons of dedicating substantial funding to unstable OPEB costs versus using those resources to strengthen their more predictable pension plans.


Sometimes pension and OPEB plan stakeholders need a new perspective. It may be an employer or bargaining unit seeking a second opinion on results prepared by the plan actuary. Or a legislative body that needs a better understanding of what the actuarial numbers mean so they can confidently approve proposed pension legislation.

We’ve worked with numerous employers and plans/boards to analyze:

  • Long-term cost projections for budgeting and labor negotiation purposes
  • Retirement plan risks, both economic and demographic
  • Potential plan design changes and implications of those changes
  • De-risking strategies for mature plans

VIA Actuarial Solutions specializes in making complex topics understandable and providing practical advice that leads to better solutions.

Please contact us if you have questions about your pension or OPEB plan — we’re always glad to discuss your actuarial challenges and how we can help!


Public sector pension and OPEB plans must operate with a high level of transparency and integrity. Recurring actuarial audits align with these objectives by accomplishing the following:

  • Validation of current actuarial assumptions and methods
  • Independent review of key results
  • Confirmation of compliance with applicable accounting, funding, and professional standards
  • Identification of potential areas for improvement
  • Comparisons to peer group

The confidence gained from a successful actuarial audit is beneficial for all stakeholders, even the plan’s retained actuaries.