Accrued pension benefits
The Plan’s accrued pension benefits represent the present value of members’ and pensioners’ earned benefits at year–end. This amount is determined by calculating future benefits payable for service prior to the valuation date. This cost is then discounted back to the valuation date using the financial statement rate of return assumption of 6.75% as at December 31, 2010 (December 31, 2009 – 7.00%).
At year-end 2010, accrued pension benefits were valued at $12.9 billion, up $610 million from 2009. This change reflects normal growth in members’ earned benefits over the year and includes assumption change losses of $235 million, partially offset by experience gains of $227 million arising from the financial statement valuation completed at the end of 2009.
At the end of 2010, active members accounted for 46% of the Plan’s accrued benefits, while current pensioners accounted for 46%. The remaining 8% of the accrued liability represents the value of deferred pensions for terminated and divested members and a provision for administrative expenses.