ARLINGTON, VA — In response to unilateral actions taken by the American Academy of Actuaries, the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA), part of the American Retirement Association (ARA) has taken steps in defense of its members, and the actuarial profession at large.
In September 2018, the American Academy of Actuaries (Academy) – without warning or due process – unilaterally voted to remove the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA) and the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (CCA) from the Selection Committee for the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) and the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD). This move undermined the long-standing practice of the organization, whose Selection Committee had traditionally consisted of the President and President-Elect of each U.S. actuarial organization, providing a broad and valuable perspective for these critical processes.
Despite repeated attempts, the Academy has refused to engage on this matter, leaving many in the actuarial community, and those who rely on those services, unattended. To address this gap, ACOPA has established a disciplinary committee that will develop procedures to resolve referrals from the ABCD that will incorporate advisories to assist ACOPA members in meeting the applicable Standards of Practice, and expects draft advisories to be available to ACOPA members by the end of the year.
“ACOPA and ARA really have no choice but to provide our members with the tools they need. I do not think the Academy has been reasonable in how they chose to take these actions against ACOPA and the CCA”, said Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association.
To assist with this process, ACOPA has engaged the services of Lauren Bloom, J.D., the former General Counsel at the Academy, where she played a key role in the development and enforcement of the U.S. actuarial profession’s code of conduct and standards of qualification and practice. She has also consulted with the International Actuarial Association.
John Markley, President of ACOPA adds, “Ultimately, the ACOPA organization must be responsible to its members. Leadership should serve its members, not the other way around. The work of ACOPA will in the end serve its members best by reflecting and incorporating the unique nature of the work product of ACOPA members. We’re pleased to have access to Lauren’s experience and expertise in these matters, and look forward to continuing to support our members in their efforts to provide the very best in actuarial services”.
About the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA)
The ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA) was formed in 2008 as a result of a merger with the College of Pension Actuaries (COPA). All credentialed actuarial members of ASPPA are members of the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA), which is responsible for identifying and addressing the professional development needs of the actuarial membership of ASPPA, including maintaining the actuaries-only list serve, and offering conferences focused primarily on the needs of actuarial members.
ACOPA members serve as representatives on other ASPPA committees and subcommittees to enhance the actuarial content of ASPPA’s current programs and to provide an actuarial perspective to ASPPA’s future planning.
About the American Retirement Association
The American Retirement Association, based in the Washington, D.C. area, is a non-profit professional organization established to empower retirement plan professionals who are dedicated to building a better retirement for Americans. The American Retirement Association is comprised of five premier retirement industry associations; the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA), the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), the National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA), and the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA).