Projection and Risk Assumptions Study
April 2023

Our Projections Model is like the Actuarial Valuation Report but includes additional assumptions to estimate funding progress and contribution rates at future measurement dates. The model is also used to perform an actuarial assessment of the financial risks of the Washington State retirement systems and provide commentary on them. This webpage documents the analysis relied on to set projection and risk assumptions in our Projections Model. For more information on our projections, please see Projections Model and Assumptions.

The Projection Assumptions documented on this webpage include:

The above links contain our updated analysis for assumptions that were previously studied in our 2016 Risk Assessment Assumptions Study (RAAS). PDF Icon

As of publication of this webpage, we continue to rely on the 2016 RAAS as the source for the following Risk and Other Assumptions:

  • Percent of Contributions Made
  • Benefit Improvements

We believe these assumptions remain reasonable for continued use in our risk models. Our Risk assumptions and methods may change with future studies. Other assumptions from the 2016 RAAS have since been updated due to our office’s statutory requirement to study certain economic assumptions on a biennial basis. They include our assumptions for Investment Return, Inflation, and Salary Growth from Productivity. Please see the Projections Model and Assumptions page for the most recent economic assumptions used in our Projections Model.

The results of this analysis will change in the future as actual experience emerges. We plan to monitor this experience and update our assumptions as necessary. We will update this webpage in the future when the results of a more recent study become available.

The results summarized on this webpage for Projection Assumptions (New Entrant Demographics, Plan Choice, System Growth, Nominal Revenue Growth) involve methods for analyzing past experience and setting new assumptions for future Projection Models. We believe that the assumptions documented on this webpage are reasonable and in conformity with generally accepted actuarial principles and standards of practice as of the date of this publication.

We relied on data from Department of Retirement Systems (DRS), the Office of Financial Management (OFM), and the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) to perform the study of these Projection Assumptions. We checked the data for reasonableness as appropriate based on the purpose of this study. An audit of the data was not performed. We relied on all the information provided as complete and accurate. In our opinion, this information is adequate and substantially complete for purposes of this study.

The undersigned, with actuarial credentials, meet the Qualifications Standards of the American Academy of Actuaries to render the actuarial opinions for the Projection Assumptions documented on this webpage. While the write-ups [linked above] are intended to be complete, we are available to provide extra advice and explanations as needed. The certification letters for the 2016 RAAS and the most recent Economic Experience Study contain disclosures for the Risk and Other assumptions used in our Projections Models.


Luke Masselink, ASA, EA, MAAA
Senior Actuary

Michael T. Harbour, ASA, MAAA

1 We completed the Nominal Revenue Growth assumption review after the publication of our 2021 Valuation Projections model. The updated assumption will therefore first be used in the 2022 Valuation Projections Model.

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Last Reviewed: 10/11/2022

Last Updated: 10/11/2022