The City of Seattle wanted to explore alternative benefit designs so it could continue to provide meaningful benefits to long-service employees and achieve cost savings that would not adversely impact recruitment and retention goals. Through a competitive bidding process, the City hired GRS to provide benefit and cost projection technology that the City’s Retirement Team could use in-house. GRS responded by delivering its powerful MagVal Plus™ benefit design projection software which incorporated all of the City’s specific benefit design items (e.g., eligibility, benefit multipliers, early retirement factors, COLA, etc.), data, and actuarial assumptions.
The City of Seattle was then able to easily model a myriad of scenarios finally settling on five alternative benefit designs that allowed them to identify both short-term and long-term savings, plan sustainability, and benefit adequacy. The scenarios modeled by the City included a benefit design that accomplished the desired level of savings, without changing the benefit multiplier, and several innovative hybrid alternatives to the traditional defined benefit approach.
MagVal™ Plus and GRS consultants’ expert guidance on plan changes and implementation helped the City adopt changes to its system in 2016. The City is able to continue using MagVal™ Plus in managing its retirement system.