Frequently Asked Questions

We hope this FAQ answers any questions regarding the Innovative Public Pension Funding Strategies competition.

After reviewing this FAQ, any additional questions can be directed to Dan Doonan, executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security, at dan@nirsonline.org. Please do not contact judges with questions regarding the competition.

Who is eligible to apply? The competition is open to all interested parties, including academics and practitioners in the U.S. and abroad. Submissions will be accepted from individuals and teams.

How do I apply? Submissions will be accepted online through Monday, January 10, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET. Entrants should review the hypothetical pension scenario and design a funding policy that will reduce cost volatility, promote intergenerational equity, and assure that plans remain on a strong fiscal path over the long-term.  The complete submission guidelines are available here.

What is the application deadline? The submission deadline is Monday, January 10, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET.

What are the details for the informational webinar? An informational webinar was held on October 21, 2021, review the competition guidelines and respond to any questions. The replay is available here. The slide presentation is available here.

Will I receive confirmation that the application was received? Yes. Following the online submission, an automated email will be sent acknowledging receipt of the submission.

Can I mail or email the submission? No. Please submit applications using the online form here.

Who are the judges? We have assembled an esteemed panel of judges with broad and deep pension and actuarial expertise. We invite you to review the panel of judges here. To maintain the integrity of the judging process, please do not contact the judges regarding the contest.

Will the judges be aware of the author(s) of each submission?  No. All submissions will be redacted so the judges are unaware of who has authored the submission.

Can I contact the judges? To maintain the integrity of the judging process, please do not contact judges regarding the competition. If you have any questions not answered here, please contact Dan Doonan, executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security, at dan@nirsonline.org.

How will judges review the submissions? The judges will review the submissions based on innovative ideas on funding policies that are consistent with the CCA white paper, Actuarial Funding Policies and Practices for Public Pension Plans, and:

  • Reduce cost volatility.
  • Promote intergenerational equity.
  • Ensure plan funding remains strong over time.

The judges will take into consideration how costs are impacted if various plan assumptions are not met.

Core components of the funding policy should include:

  • Cost Method: Entry Age Normal
  • Asset Smoothing Method
  • Amortization Policy
  • Contribution Policy Defined
  • Optional:  Transition Elements & Any Additional Features

Can I submit a funding strategy that is not related to the hypothetical scenario? No. All applicants should use this hypothetical pension scenario to design a funding policy that will reduce cost volatility, promote intergenerational equity, and assure that plans remain on a strong fiscal path over the long-term. The submission guidelines are available here.

How will applicants be notified of the winner? The National Institute on Retirement Security and Conference of Consulting Actuaries will call the winner(s) by March 2022. All applicants will be notified of the winners via an email announcement by March 2022.

Are award recipients required to attend the award announcement event? We ask that winners attend the National Institute on Retirement Security annual policy conference in March 2022 to receive the award and present their funding strategy to conference attendees. NIRS will cover reasonable costs for travel, lodging and incidentals. Award winner(s) also are asked to present their funding strategy at the Conference of Consulting Actuaries Enrolled Actuaries Conference scheduled for May 2022.

Can multiple authors work together on an award submission? Yes. Please note that if the winning submission has multiple authors, the award will be divided evenly among the authors. Each award recipient is fully responsible for all applicable taxes.

What happens if a winner is precluded from accepting a financial award? For any winners precluded from accepting a financial award, the winnings will be donated to The Actuarial Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to strengthening math education and financial literacy through the talents and resources of actuaries.

Who owns the copyright of winning submissions? The National Institute on Retirement Security and the Conference of Consulting Actuaries will be granted a broad license to publish, reproduce and publicize all winning submissions. The author(s) will retain the copyright.

Where do I direct additional questions? Please contact Dan Doonan, executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security, at dan@nirsonline.org. Please do not contact judges with questions regarding the competition.