Code of Conduct Now Defines Who Is an Actuary

By Susan Perry • November 05, 2015 • 0 Comments
The American Retirement Association (ARA) Board of Directors has amended the Professional Code of Conduct (the Code) to provide that a member of the American Retirement Association is an actuary for purposes of the Code only if they hold an actuarial credential from the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA) or another organization that is a member of the International Actuarial Association (IAA), or are an enrolled actuary in good standing with the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. Under the revised Code, a member who does not meet this definition of actuary “shall not professionally represent to the public to be an actuary or knowingly allow such misrepresentation by others.”

The change was made at the request of the ACOPA Leadership Council (LC), with the support of the ASPPA LC. The proposed changed was exposed to ASPPA membership earlier this year and received strong support from both actuaries and non-actuarial members. As a result, the ARA board voted to approve the change.

Since the term “actuary” was undefined by our Code, confusion surrounded who amongst our membership could use “actuary” to describe themselves in a professional setting. This change to the Code will bring clarity and acknowledge the unique professional status of our actuarial members.

The change to the Code is effective immediately, but members have until Jan. 1, 2016 to modify business cards, web sites or other published materials. Very few members are expected to be affected by this change because it is not common practice to refer to oneself as an actuary without holding one of the requisite credentials. If you are not sure if the change affects you, please contact the Professional Conduct Committee care of Ray Harmon; he can be reached by clicking here.

Susan H. Perry, CPC, QPA, QKA, ERPA, APA, APR, AIF, AFA, is the president of Edberg & Perry, Inc., a retirement plan consulting firm in Phoenix, Ariz. She is the current chair of the ARA Professional Conduct Committee.