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Karen Smith

In addition to the Joint Board continuing education requirements, members of ASEA and the other US-based actuarial organizations are subject to the continuing education requirements of the qualification standards (QS) promulgated by the American Academy of Actuaries. The QS have been updated for... READ MORE
I completed a study to determine how actuaries are complying with ASOP 51. I selected to review public plan funding reports for several reasons. First, it is my understanding that the development of ASOP 51 was motivated by public plans, and I was curious to see if public plan funding reports were... READ MORE
I have been blessed to be part of a quickly growing TPA and actuarial firm. I love the energy and opportunities. However, growth does come with its own set of challenges. One of our biggest challenges has been hiring experienced administrators. So, 5 years ago, we embraced hiring remote employees.... READ MORE
On Dec. 7, 2017, I attended an Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) meeting. I had never attended an ASB meeting and was curious. Revisions to pension ASOPs 27 and 35 were on the agenda. So, I notified the Academy office that I planned to attend, booked my airfare and I was off to DC! As an observer,... READ MORE
For the 2017 ASPPA Annual Conference, I agreed to do the session on defined benefit topics that were not covered in other sessions. The description of the session indicated that one of the topics that I would cover was the accrual rules. “Easy enough,” I thought, and did not give it much more... READ MORE
Judy Miller has written an excellent article about what the ACOPA LC has been up to, so I wanted to take this opportunity as my term as ACOPA President is beginning to wind down to make the case on a personal cause of mine. Maybe I have been hanging out with my Millennial employees too much, but I... READ MORE
Earlier this month, ACOPA members were emailed information about two changes to the ACOPA Operating Principles (OP). In July, ACOPA members will have an opportunity to vote on these changes. I recommend that membership approve the changes.The first set of OP changes are related to the disciplinary... READ MORE
Earlier this year, ACOPA members voted and approved the revised Joint Discipline Council (JDC) agreement with the other U.S.-based actuarial organizations. So, now we are working on getting the American Retirement Association (ARA) discipline procedures amended to reflect the new JDC agreement.... READ MORE
Editor’s Note: The following presents a discussion between Karen Smith and Larry Deutsch about using different crediting rates for different groups of participants in a cash balance plan.Karen: Hi Larry. I need your help. I am working on drafting a plan document for a brand new cash balance plan... READ MORE
On behalf of the ACOPA Leadership Council, here's our monthly update for members on some of ACOPA's activities. Joint Discipline Council Agreement – In early January 2016, there was a membership vote to approve proposed changes to ACOPA’s operating principles and the amended Joint Discipline... READ MORE
In December 2015, Judy Miller, Kurt Piper, Lynn Young and I went to Scottsdale, Ariz. to attend several actuarial inter-societal meetings.First, there was a meeting of the Council of U.S. Presidents (CUSP) meeting. CUSP used to be a committee of the American Academy of Actuaries and is currently an... READ MORE
The week of Jan. 18, 2016, ACOPA members will have the opportunity to vote to approve the proposed amended Joint Discipline Council Agreement (“JDC Agreement”). You will be receiving (or may have received already) an email with our formal communication of the materials. Voting instructions will be... READ MORE
We wanted to provide an update on a couple of ACOPA projects.First, we are working on a comment letter to the Actuarial Standards Board on the proposed revisions to ASOP 21, Responding to or Assisting Auditors or Examiners in Connection with Financial Audits, Financial Reviews, and Financial... READ MORE
Editor’s Note: This article is a follow-up to “Is There a Market for 3(16) Plan Administrator Services?” the third in a three-part series of columns by Peter Preovolos that recently appeared in ASPPA Connect.Many years ago when satellite radio started broadcasting, I thought it was the most... READ MORE
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Plan Consultant. To view a PDF version, please click here.Not long ago, I wanted to better understand our computer network. I asked for some reports, and when they arrived in my email inbox, I opened them eagerly. But I could not make any... READ MORE
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Plan Consultant. To view a PDF version, please click here.In the age of Twitter and Facebook, information moves almost at the speed of light. We can get instant updates on topics as important as breaking news and as mundane as what people... READ MORE