An important part of managing a pension fund is being able to forecast key variables such as how long people will live in retirement, what their pension will cost the fund and what sort of investment returns the pension fund can earn on its assets.

Actuaries are employed to make this type of estimate. Typically they work for the government, for life assurance firms who provide pensions and sometimes for companies who run final salary pension schemes for their employees and therefore need advice on how much money to pay into the fund.