[long_equity_returns] [actuarial_asset_values] [actuarial_laws] [short-termism]

Short-termism is commonly admitted to be a systemic problem. What needs to be more widely recognised is that short-term optima won't deliver the long-term optimum because path dependence, which needs more exposure, is crucial.

Why should we assume that “current values” will continue to apply? The long-term is highly likely to be different from “now”. There was a time when actuaries were supposed to concentrate upon long-term aspects. Traditionally, no-one else in the UK has done that.

Over the years, the UK actuarial profession has adopted “risk management” as their new mantra. Sadly, “management” is often confused with “avoidance”. What needs to be emphasised is risk WITH reward. This used to be the UK approach for valuing pension fund assets.

If the event is unlikely, then there is no absolute need to fund in advance for “wind-up”. One cannot legally invest an asset “short” and “long” simultaneously. So long as the trustees and sponsors are fully aware of a realistic timeframe for their assets, appropriate assets can be chosen.