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Defined benefit pension plan sponsors use mortality tables for a variety of purposes, including calculating lump sum distributions and minimum contribution requirements. The IRS mandates the mortality tables that plan sponsors must use when calculating lump sum distributions and minimum contributions obligations. 

Currently, plan sponsors must use the RP-2000 mortality table to determine present value lump sum conversions and minimum contributions. The Society of Actuaries published RP-2000, and it is based on data from over 20 years ago. Given that the RP-2000 data is stale and that the Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandated a review of IRS-required mortality tables every 10 years, the SOA, in 2009, began a study to update underlying mortality assumptions.

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