From the President

By Bill Karbon • March 15, 2018 • 0 Comments

The only way that ACOPA can successfully meet the needs of our membership is to rely on the hard work of our many volunteers. This month I would like to highlight the great work that is done by our Professionalism Committee. Lynn Young chairs this vital committee, which provides support to our members on multiple levels. Here are some highlights of the many functions performed by the Professionalism Committee:


  • A member of the committee (currently Mark Dunbar) represents ACOPA on the American Academy of Actuaries’ Council on Professionalism (COP). Our participation in allows the COP to hear the unique issues faced by the ACOPA actuary. The COP oversees the Academy's work on professionalism issues and manages the work of its committees, task forces and work groups.
  • The committee monitors the activity of the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB). As the ASB proposes new standards or revises existing standards of practice, the committee reviews the new or revised standards and issues comment letters on the Proposed Actuarial Standards of Practice (ASOPs) on behalf of ACOPA.
  • The committee is anticipating increased activity over the next six months. The Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) is contemplating revisions to several Actuarial Standards of Practice, as well as issuing a second exposure draft from the General Committee on Assumptions. Even though some of these changes stem from a request from the Public Plan Pension Task Force, these changes apply to non-public plans as well. The Committee anticipates that they we will be working on several comment letters in response to the ASB’s revisions to the ASOPs.
  • Another essential role of the Professionalism Committee is to increase awareness of ASOPs and professionalism to our members. The committee accomplishes this goal by providing content on professionalism to the ACOPA Monthly. In addition, the committee is responsible for the sessions on the Actuarial Standards of Practice and Professionalism that are presented in ACOPA webcasts and conferences.

It is important that ACOPA leadership work closely with the Professionalism Committee. The committee relies on the relationships with other actuarial organizations developed by ACOPA leadership during meetings of the North American Actuarial Council and other industry events. The Professionalism Committee leverages these relationships in working with the other organizations, in particular the American Academy of Actuaries, to help with increasing awareness of issues of importance to the small plan actuary that may not be of the same significance of importance to the large plan actuary.


Lastly, it is critical that ACOPA members are viewed as the leading professionals among pension actuaries employed by small and mid-sized firms. We cannot achieve this goal without the support provided by the Professionalism Committee. The committee supports the ACOPA strategic plan by working to ensure that ACOPA is represented by members on all key professionalism committees within ASPPA, ARA and the U.S.-based actuarial community, and by offering frequent, robust, effective professionalism education to raise awareness of current and emerging professionalism issues.


I am very grateful for the work done by the Professionalism Committee, and I encourage you to reach out to Lynn Young with any professional issues that are of concern to your practice.


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