The ABCD Process from the Inside

The Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD) per­forms several functions for the actuarial profession. We are all aware of the public face of the discipline process and recommen­dations for public discipline. There is, however, another function that is performed behind the scenes. I’m referring to private counseling-the “C” in ‘MCD” -as an outcome of a disciplinary complaint or hearing. … Read More

Don’t Be ‘That Actuary’

I’VE BEEN IN THE PENSION CONSULTING FIELD for over 30 years. Most of the countless actuaries I’ve encountered over the years have exhibited skills and behaviors that I strive to emulate. But others have fallen short of my expectations. From time to time, I reflect on those encounters, and remind myself that I don’t want to be “that actuary.” One … Read More

What Is a Profession?

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF when you hear the word “profession”? I would guess that you quickly came up with doctors, lawyers, and actuaries. I generally think of four aspects of one’s work when I consider whether that person is part of a profession: Specialized and rigorous training Public interest and trust Code of conduct Regulation In this article, I … Read More

Why an Actuary Must/Should Read ASOP No. 1

IN THE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 edition of Contingencies, an article by fellow ABCD member Kathy Riley appeared in this department. That article, in the context of a situation involving a multiemployer pension plan, discussed the importance of the terms “must/ should” and “may,” as used in actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs), the implications with respect to deviation from the guidance of … Read More

A Case Study

THIS ARTICLE IS AN OUTLINE of a “sample” complaint received by the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD). As a hypothetical case study, it is intended to provide examples of the types of issues that come before the ABCD when a complaint is made, as well as the typical timeline of events. Let’s assume the ABCD received a complaint … Read More

Six Years Before the Mast

DURING MY SIX YEARS ON THE ABCD, I haven’t seen it all, but I’ve seen a lot of it. Good practice, bad conduct, and unqualified practice. The Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline has averaged about 20 complaints each year since 1992, though the number of complaints has increased lately. Two sources account for most of the increase: a misunderstanding … Read More

Must or Should? Read: ASOP No. 1

JIM IS THE ACTUARY for a traditional multiemployer pension plan. The employees in the pension plan also participate in a trustee-directed defined contribution plan. For the defined contribution plan the Board of Trustees wanted to maximize the benefits provided to its members and asked Jim what changes could be made to the defined contribution plan that would protect them when … Read More

You Sign It, You Own It

IT ISN’T UNUSUAL for actuaries or other professionals to rely on the views or work of others in forming their own opinions. Doctors often confer with specialists in treating patients. Lawyers use co-workers to perform legal research and assist with briefs. Actuaries ask colleagues or other professionals to provide input on their work. One of the most common instances of … Read More

CE Checklist for Enrolled Actuaries

BY NOW, ALL ENROLLED ACTUARIES have submitted Form 5434A to the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (JBEA) to renew their enrollments. As part of that renewal, you must certify that you have met the JBEA’s continuing education (CE) requirements. Is that enough? Probably not. EAs who belong to the Academy, the American Society of Pension Profession­als and Actuaries … Read More

Owning Precept 13

WHAT IS IT ABOUT the requirements of Precept 13 that makes many actuaries uncomfortable? One of 14 precepts in the Code of Profes­sional Conduct, Precept 13 requires an actuary to take action if he or she has knowledge of a potential violation of the code by another cre­dentialed actuary. Much like the Transportation Security Administration ads, this is the “if … Read More