Will every appraiser arrive at the same present value for an individual’s pension benefits?
No. If appraisers use different assumptions, they will arrive at different answers. Following is a list of assumptions, that if different, can drastically effect the present value conclusion:
Valuation Date/Interest Rate
Date of Birth
Normal Retirement Age/ Commencement of Benefits
Accrued Monthly Benefit
Method of Valuation
The effect of a difference in some of these assumptions is obvious. For example, if one appraiser assumes you are older or younger than you really are, your projected lifespan will be different. Further, if the cut-off date is different, it is assumed that marital property rights stop at two different dates. Therefore, you will obviously get two different answers. If different monthly benefit amounts are used in the analyses, the answers generated will be different. However, some of the other assumptions are more effected by the mechanics of the mathematics. Therefore, the effect of the difference is not as obvious.