Actuarial Cost Method

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Actuarial Cost Method'

A method used by actuaries to calculate the amount a company must pay periodically to cover its pension expenses. The two main methods used are the cost approach and the benefit approach.

The cost approach calculates total final benefits based on several assumptions, including the rate of wage increases and when employees will retire. The amount of funding that will be needed to meet those future benefits is then determined. The benefit approach finds the present value of future benefits by discounting them.

Also known as an actuarial funding method.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Actuarial Cost Method'

When reviewing a company's financial statements, it is important to look closely at the accounting for pension liabilities. This is an area with a lot of assumptions that can be manipulated. The company must make assumptions regarding the rate at which to discount future pension costs, the future rate of return on pension-plan assets, at what age the average worker will retire and the rate of future salary raises. When reviewing these assumptions, investors should note whether the company is being aggressive or conservative.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Actuarial Valuation

    An actuarial valuation is a type of appraisal which requires ...
  2. Actuarial Equity

    The calculation of an insurance premium based on crucial factors ...
  3. Commissioners Standard Ordinary ...

    An actuarial table used to compute the minimum nonforfeiture ...
  4. Pension Fund

    A fund established by an employer to facilitate and organize ...
  5. Funded Status

    The status of pension plan that has accumulated assets that have ...
  6. Rate Of Return

    The gain or loss on an investment over a specified period, expressed ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How are contingent liabilities reflected on a balance sheet

    Contingent liabilities need to pass two thresholds before they can be reported in the financial statements. First, it must ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do businesses determine if an asset may be impaired?

    In the United States, assets are considered impaired when net carrying value (book value) exceeds expected future cash flows. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can I set up an accrual accounting system for a small business?

    First, determine whether accrual accounting makes the most sense practically and financially. If the small business is also ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why is work in progress (WIP) considered a current asset in accounting?

    Accountants consider work in progress (WIP) to be a current asset because it is a type of inventory asset. Accountants consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What exactly does EBITDA margin tell investors about a company?

    EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA margins provide investors a snapshot ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can you use a cash flow statement to make a budget?

    To use the cash flow statement to make a budget, a company needs to combine the operating cash flow portion of its cash flow ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Pension Plans: Pain Or Pleasure?

    Employees have a love/hate relationship with this retirement option.
  2. Home & Auto

    Insure Your Future With A Career As An Actuary

    If you've got excellent math skills, they can add up to a lucrative career as an actuary.
  3. Retirement

    The Investing Risk Of Underfunded Pension Plans

    Determine the risk to a company's EPS and financial condition resulting from an underfunded pension plan.
  4. Retirement

    The Pension Bill: A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    Find out why the 2006 act may not be all it's cracked up to be.
  5. Options & Futures

    Advanced Financial Statement Analysis

    Learn what it means to do your homework on a company's performance and reporting practices before investing.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    What is Quantitative Analysis?

    Quantitative analysis refers to the use of mathematical computations to analyze markets and investments.
  7. Economics

    Explaining Residual Value

    Residual value is a measurement of how much a fixed asset is worth at the end of its lease, or at the end of its useful life.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Why Last In First Out Is Banned Under IFRS

    We explain why Last-In-First-Out is banned under IFRS
  9. Economics

    Understanding Carrying Value

    Carrying value is the value of an asset as listed on a company’s balance sheet. Carrying value is the same as book value.
  10. Economics

    International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

    International Financial Reporting Standards are accounting rules and guidelines governing the reporting of different types of accounting transactions.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Carrying Value

    An accounting measure of value, where the value of an asset or a company is based on the figures in the company's balance ...
  2. Capital Account

    A national account that shows the net change in asset ownership for a nation. The capital account is the net result of public ...
  3. Brand Equity

    The value premium that a company realizes from a product with a recognizable name as compared to its generic equivalent. ...
  4. Adverse Selection

    1. The tendency of those in dangerous jobs or high risk lifestyles to get life insurance. 2. A situation where sellers have ...
  5. Wash Trading

    The process of buying shares of a company through one broker while selling shares through a different broker. Wash trading ...
Trading Center