News & Ideas

The Prescription Drug Supply Chain "Black Box": How it Works and Why You Should Care

The recent explosion of prescription drug costs portends a troubling near-term outlook for controlling healthcare costs. This paper sheds light on one of the fastest growing areas in an organization’s human capital cost structure: the Prescription Drug Supply Chain. It suggests a new prescription drug supply chain model designed to better align pharmacy industry stakeholder interests with those of the plan sponsor and its employees. Senior corporate executives need to understand the Prescription Drug Supply Chain in order to address these impending financial challenges.

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Terry Group Update: The Terry Group partners with Hager Strategic to Evaluate Private Healthcare Exchanges

The Terry Group announces its partnership with Hager Strategic, a Washington, D.C. benefits, human resources and payroll outsourcing consulting firm, to help employers understand and evaluate the offerings of private healthcare exchanges.

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Myth: Assumptions Drive Pension Costs

There's a lot of talk these days about public pension plans, about the size of their unfunded liabilities and the level of their costs. It’s appropriate that policymakers and policy influencers focus their attention on, “What to do?”

But when these conversations turn to actuarial assumptions, danger lurks. Cost management is not achieved by “managing” actuarial assumptions. This article explores what drives pension costs and what doesn’t.

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Terry Group Update: The Terry Group merges with Donlon & Associates, Inc.

The Terry Group announces its merger with Donlon & Associates, Inc., a specialist healthcare consulting firm. Since 1995, Donlon & Associates has provided expert actuarial, financial, administrative and financial reporting services to employers, insurers and healthcare provider organizations of all types.

Donlon & Associates is merging into The Terry Group and the combined organization will operate under the Terry Group banner. Tom Donlon is now a principal and the healthcare practice leader of the combined firm.

“I’m excited about joining forces with Tom Terry and his outstanding – and growing – group of talented professionals,” said Tom Donlon. “We’ve worked together collaboratively for years and so this combination is a natural. Our clients will be winners in this as we both broaden and deepen our capacities to serve.”

Tom Terry added, “Tom Donlon mentioned our past collaboration. That’s right – I’ve known Tom professionally for 25 years and our firms have partnered well together. I’m particularly excited about this combination because it not only strengthens our existing healthcare capabilities, it also moves us forward strategically. We have our eyes set on the most critical client needs in the healthcare world. Employers are facing many new and important decisions in the near future. Insurance carriers and provider organizations are also facing new, risk-related challenges and opportunities. The Terry-Donlon combination is well positioned to help all these organizations succeed.”

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What is Intergenerational Equity?

Policymakers and advocates, when arguing for a particular approach to public pension finance, often raise the issue of intergenerational equity. We sometimes find these arguments confusing, because "intergenerational equity" means different things to different people. In this article we explore this issue—the different views of and approaches to intergenerational equity and the different outcomes they may produce.

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Why Pre-fund? Why Fully Fund?

Most public entities have a policy of pre-funding their pension plans. The evidence of this is the near-universal existence of pension funds—the accumulation of assets set aside for paying future pensions.

But, a commitment to pre-funding is not the same as a commitment to full funding. There is a big, big difference. And the distinctions are often obscured.

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Guide to Choosing Delegated Investment Management Services for Corporate Pensions

As the trend toward delegated investment services (fiduciary management) increases, this white paper should help buyers assess potential providers when conducting an OCIO search.

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A Risk-Based Framework for Pension Decision-Making

A process for making better financial decisions about pension plans.

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Why are Corporate Pension Plans Reducing Risk Now?

Why interest rates and equity returns have little to do with the derisking decision.

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Communicating Longevity Risk: Beyond the Definitions 

Despite efforts to educate about longevity risk, the marketplace for longevity risk mitigation solutions has been slow to develop. In part, this stems from the lack of a common definition of longevity risk.

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The Great Pension Derisking

Observations on pension derisking trends.

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Uncertain Times and the Pension Fiduciary

The Terry Group’s Liaw Huang and Tom Terry are co-authors of a chapter in the recently published book Cambridge Handbook of Institutional Investment and Fiduciary Duty (Cambridge University Press, June 2014).  The chapter, “Uncertain Times, Plural Rationalities and the Pension Fiduciary,” offers a theoretical framework for how U.S. pension fiduciaries deal with uncertainty.  In particular, the chapter describes how the risk management theory of plural rationalities can be applied to pension fiduciary management.

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Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice in Pension Risk Management

The Terry Group is partnering with Lalani Consulting Group (Canada) in an important research endeavor examining corporate pension decision-making.

The three disciplines of pension finance, corporate finance and risk management are all essential elements of any enterprise-wide view of corporate defined benefit pension plans. A solid, integrated decision-making framework incorporating these disciplines is the foundation for effective analysis of pension risk management or risk transfer options.

The Terry Group and Lalani Consulting, also partnering with the Society of Actuaries, will be developing a monograph that reports on how this integration is happening in practice across corporations and how it has and will continue to inform the practice of consulting actuaries.


The Aging of America

Commentary on America’s aging challenge and what we might do about it.

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A New Retirement Paradigm

A discussion of different perspectives on retirement and on the tensions between and among different generations.

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Public Confidence - What Does It Take?

Public confidence is an essential ingredient in the success of any pension or insurance program.  And – no surprise – actuaries are an important part of the public confidence equation for such systems.

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Promoting Objective Public Policy in a Partisan World

Politics. We love to complain, but it’s the way our founding fathers chose to get things done in this country. Commentary on the challenges of navigating the public policy world today.

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Keeping Up With the Brits

By an overwhelming vote of its membership, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries just approved a new actuarial designation – the certified actuarial analyst.

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A Year Well Spent

Thoughts on the sustainability of social security and other long-term financial security programs.

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Global Aging Institute

The Terry Group is excited to be a sponsor of the Global Aging Institute. The Global Aging Institute, founded in May 2014, is an independent research and educational organization dedicated to raising awareness of the economic, social, and geopolitical challenges posed by demographic change, and especially population aging, in the United States and around the world. 

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