From the Executive Editor

By Norman Levinrad • January 15, 2016 • 0 Comments

Hi there and Happy New Year. I woke up this morning hoping I’d won the $1.5 billion Powerball, but unfortunately I hadn’t — apparently three other people will instead share my winnings. But then I realized that the way I live compared to most people in the world is already like winning the lottery, so I quickly stopped feeling sorry for myself and picked up my latte and muffin and headed to the office to start putting together this month’s e-newsletter. 

My job as Executive Nagger… er, Editor, was fairly easy this month — I only had to ask most of this month’s contributors once to submit their content, instead of my usual badgering.
One conversation that always comes up on the ACOPA listserv is, “Hey, is it okay to fire a client on October 14?” We are subject to the Code of Conduct for Actuaries, so firing a client close to a deadline always causes concern about the possibility of a Code violation. I asked David Lipkin, one of the contributors to the listserv conversation, to write up the issues in an article for us. David’s discussion is here.
Last month’s ACOPA Monthly included Part 1 of an article by Osmundo Bernabe discussing the basics of the suspension-of-benefit rules. In Part 2, Osmundo and Glenn Soderstrom discuss some of the tricky issues that come up under these rules. Their article is here
As we all work on our 2015 ASC 715 disclosures, its useful to keep in mind the changes to ASOP 35 which apply for any measurement after June 30, 2015, especially with respect to the disclosures regarding mortality improvements. Bill Karbon has written up a summary of the change to ASOP 35 here. Of course, if you’d all signed up for the webcast I did for ACOPA last summer about the ASOPs affecting actuarial assumptions you’d be experts on this already!
Not every issue affecting pension actuaries is an actuarial issue. One issue of concern involves the changes the IRS has made to the program for individually designed plans. I asked a young, up-and-coming ERISA attorney in San Francisco to write an article for us to explain the effect on sponsors by these changes. In the interest of full disclosure I must admit this attorney is my oldest child, Freeman Levinrad. But before you all start yelling, “Nepotism!” I’ll just say it: “Get your own kids to submit relevant content to me and I’ll include it!” Freeman’s article is here
ACOPA Executive Director Judy Miller has submitted her usual article outlining her thoughts about the year ahead and the year behind us. Judy’s article is here.
Last is ACOPA President Karen Smith’s update about what our Leadership Council is working on. Karen’s update is here
I look forward to seeing many of you in person in Los Angeles at the LA Advanced Actuarial Conference.