Q: Could AT&T have made a better assessment on the case of mortality assumptions?
Yes. ... AT&T risk analysis professionals did not anticipate this situation because they did not consider the other technological-driven social-economic factors that was affected by the information economy.
By seeing the right sequence of events that affects the presumption of improved quality of life for their specific group of retired workers, the initial assessment could have lowered the cost of $8 Billion.
Without performing a deep profile on this specific group, one could presume that this group worked for a world class information service company where the receipt of high-speed, quality information is the norm while securing good heath care is still a part of their company policy.
Good health care and constant messages of good health practices usually create a longer mortality for the majority of that group. ...
Simultaneously, health care has also improved dramatically. After awhile, some of this group of "mindfully smart" retired workers who practiced good health conscious habits, evolved forward, to a decent healthy life . While it is good for this group who is living a good life. this situation caused a minor glitch to their former employer's bottom line.
In summary The risk analysts under-assessed the situation.
Here Is AT&T's Epic $8 Billion Friday-Night News Dump
The running joke in news is that companies dump news when people aren't looking, like before holidays or on Friday nights before long weekends. AT&T met the latter criteria this week.